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Three sisters struck by lightning in Uintas

FILE - The Summit County Sheriff's Office and emergency medical crews are responding to the area near Lily Lake in the Uinta Mountains where three children may have been struck by lightning.
FILE - The Summit County Sheriff's Office and emergency medical crews are responding to the area near Lily Lake in the Uinta Mountains where three children may have been struck by lightning.
Deseret News Stock

KAMAS — Three sisters on a family fishing trip in the Uinta Mountains were struck by lightning Friday.

The girls, ages, 2, 7 and 8, survived and were in the hospital. They are from Evanston, Wyoming, authorities said.

The family was fishing at Lily Lake, which is near the Wyoming border and at 9,000 feet elevation, when a storm rolled in without warning.

Their father told them to lie down under trees to avoid the lightning, but the girls were struck, police said. Their dad did CPR and managed to revive the older girls, who had been knocked unconscious.

The lightning Friday was "pretty violent," said Summit County Sheriff's Office Lt. Andrew Wright.

"That's the thing about the Uintas being up at that high elevation," Wright said. "It can be sunny one minute and a few minutes later you can be stuck in a lightning-and-rain storm."

A medical helicopter brought the 7- and 8-year-old to Primary Children's Hospital in critical condition. An ambulance transported the toddler to a local hospital. She was in fair condition.

Deputies said at least one of the girls had lightning entrance wounds on her back, and that the bolt exited at their hips.

Dispatchers were called about 1:50 p.m. Friday, some time after the strike. There is no cell reception in the area, which is about 4 miles from the Mirror Lake Highway.

Crews at the time were searching for a missing 74-year-old hiker from Arizona nearby. It took them about 20 minutes to reach the family.

"We don't get a lot of lightning strike calls, let alone three children," Wright said.

They're the second set of girls to be struck by lightning in Utah in the last week.

Two girls at a family reunion in the mountains east of Beaver last Friday also were knocked unconscious by lightning and were recovering in the hospital last weekend.

Meanwhile, the search continues for Melvin Heaps, the hiker who went for a day hike Monday on the Crystal Lake Trail, also along the Mirror Lake Highway. He was visiting family in the Salt Lake Valley and his family grew concerned when he did not return that evening, authorities said.

Contributing: Pat Reavy