[FILE] PAGE, AZ – MARCH 24: Lightning strikes as a much-needed rain storm comes to Lake Powell which is marked by a 100-foot thick “bathtub ring” of bleached sandstone, the result of a six-year drought that has dramatically dropped the level of the reservoir, on March 24, 2007 near Page, Arizona. Lake Powell and the next biggest Colorado River reservoir, the nearly 100-year-old Lake Mead, are at the lowest levels ever recorded. Environmentalists have long-lamented the damming of scenic Glen Canyon, the eastern sibling of the Grand Canyon, in the early 1960’s to create the 186-mile-long Lake Powell. The US Bureau of Reclamation is evaluating four proposals to manage the drought on the Colorado River which supplies water and power to millions of people in the western states. The bureau has warned that shortages are possible as early as 2010. If the water drops too far, power generators at the dams will become inoperable. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
A lightning strike killed a teenage hiker this week at the highest point in Arizona, police said. The unidentified 17-year-old male hiker was fatally struck Wednesday near the summit of Humphreys Peak, the Coconino Sheriff’s Office said.
Two other hikers, ages 17 and 18, were transported to a Flagstaff hospital. Their condition is unknown, but they were conscious and walking when emergency responders reached them, the Sheriff’s Office said. Their injuries were apparently related to their proximity to the lightning strike.
At 12,633 feet, Humphreys Peak is the highest point in the state, and with a trail that leads directly to the summit, is a popular hiking spot in the Flagstaff area. “It’s the middle of our monsoon season here. Some hikers did get caught in that today,” said Erika Wiltenmuth, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities were alerted to the lightning strike after a 911 call from a group near the summit. Rescue crews waited for the weather to subside before heading up the trail.
Mountain hiking is high on the list of activities where people are injured or killed by lightning, according to the Coconino National Forest website, which lists tips to avoid getting hit. “If you are caught above the tree line when a storm approaches, descend quickly. Avoid isolated trees. It is better to run into a forest,” the website said.
CNN’s Dave Alsup contributed to this report