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Good Samaritans step in to help save woman struck by lightning at Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon AP
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 22, 2021

A young woman struck by lightning at the Grand Canyon this week is alive tonight because of the quick action of two strangers.

“It was pretty cool, we had been there most of the day at that point,” said Kenton Irvine from the four corners area of New Mexico.

It was a family trip to the Grand Canyon. Irvine and his five kids were taking in the sights of one of the world's great wonders on Tuesday. He says he and his family had just finished a short hike when storms began to quickly move into the area. That’s when the unthinkable happened at the Bright Angel Trail Head.

“It was insanely loud, it was maybe 30 feet from where we were standing,” said Irvine.

A bolt of lightning had hit the ground, startling dozens of people in the area.

“Turned around and saw a spot with smoke coming out of the ground and then my wife pointed out on the other side of a sign that there were people, people were down over there,” said Irvine.

Irvine says he instinctively jumped into action, racing over to the victims.

“There was a young gentleman who was down, and he was bleeding, couldn’t tell where he was bleeding from,” said Irvine.

Fortunately, the man was conscious, but a young woman also struck was not. Moments later Irvine was joined by another man who happened to be a doctor. Miraculously both were proficient in CPR.

“We started focusing on the woman because she wasn’t moving or breathing, I gave compressions, then he gave compressions, and then we started giving breaths,” said Irvine.

She regained a pulse and lost it three times before paramedics arrived minutes later.

“And when the paramedics arrived, she was breathing shallow, had a pulse and they took over,” said Irvine.

In total, park officials say four people were injured in the strike.

“There were two people directly hit and two people who were splashed,” said Kaitlyn Thomas with Grand Canyon National Park.

What lightning splash means is you’re not directly hit but you’re still inside the electrified radius which can cause major burns or even death as well. Somehow none of them lost their lives and all are now on the road to recovery.

“Still a scary incident for all of us,” said Thomas.

One that could have been much worse if it weren’t for people brave enough to act.