Lightning strike near Evanston sends three children to hospital


Three Wyoming sisters were struck by lightning around 1:45 p.m. on Friday in the Uinta Mountains. 
The two older sisters, aged 7 and 8, were Life Flighted in critical condition to a hospital on the Wasatch Front while the younger girl, aged 2, was taken by ambulance to Evanston Regional Hospital, according to Evanston Fire Captain Tim Overy.
"The family was up fishing at Lily Lake, and then a fast-moving thunderstorm moved through," he said. 
Overy said that the girls were at the lake with both of their parents and suggested there were other family members there as well. 
The girls' father directed the girls away from the water to take shelter from the storm under some small trees, but the children were struck by lightning there. 
The two older girls were knocked unconscious, and Overy said their father revived them with CPR. However, one of the girls remained unconscious until emergency responders arrived. According to reports on the police scanner, she was suffering from "agonal breathing." 
"They had life-threatening injuries," Overy said. 
Agonal breathing is typically associated with cardiogenic shock or cardiac arrest. 
It took about 35 minutes for emergency responders to arrive on scene, Overy said. 
According to police scanner updates Friday afternoon, responders struggled to find the exact location. Through the back-and-forth between dispatch and the responders, they finally found the family after using sirens to confirm they were headed in the right direction. 
At one point, the dispatcher reported, the woman calling asked to start carrying one of the girls toward the approaching sirens.   
In addition, because of the location in the mountains, the ambulance could not get directly to the site. 
However, after responders found the family and took over the care, they were able to set up a helicopter landing within 50 feet of the site, Overy said. Two helicopters — including a Life Flight from Salt Lake City — took the girls to the Wasatch Front. A South Summit ambulance and two Evanston ambulances also responded.

According to Fox 13, the Summit County Sheriff's Office identified the victims as the Thompson family from Evanston, and said that two of the three girls were hit directly by lightning, though despite multiple attempts, the Herald hasn't been able to confirm either of those details.

This story is developing. Check Tuesday's edition of the Uinta County Herald and online at uintacountyherald.com for an updated story.

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