FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mountain Biker Struck and Killed by Lightning
Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028
August 13, 2017 -- (Lizard Head Wilderness, CO) – A 24 year-old Colorado man was struck and killed by lightning while mountain biking on a trail outside Telluride with his girlfriend. She survived and was treated and transported by Telluride EMS with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
An off-duty Telluride EMT told Deputies he was biking with a friend on the East Fork Trail near the Lizard Head Wilderness when a storm moved in with multiple lightning strikes in the immediate area. They, as well as others in the area attempted to take shelter below tree line.
He said they were 100 yards away from the other party when the woman ran to them asking for help stating that her boyfriend had been struck by lightning. The incident occurred just before noon.
The EMT stated he ran to the patient, who was unresponsive, pulseless and breathless, started CPR and sent his friend to call 911 and see if an AED could be located. Other bystanders in the area assisted with CPR.
Deputies, Telluride EMS and Search and Rescue personnel responded and hiked up approximately one half mile to the patient. Life-saving attempts were unsuccessful.
The San Miguel County Coroner made notification to the next of kin and released the man’s name as Mr. John Daniel Huisjen of Durango, Colorado.
Sheriff Bill Masters said, “This is a horrible tragedy. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Sheriff Masters also wanted to thank the EMT, bystanders, and all of the responders who “did everything they could for this young man.”
The Lizardhead Wilderness area is about 17 miles south of Telluride.
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.