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Family, friends remember teen struck by lightning

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Posted at 10:11 PM, Jul 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 00:11:15-04

SPANISH FORK, Utah -- Investigators called it a freak accident.

Now loved ones of the 14-year-old who was struck and killed by lightning last week are left dealing with the tragedy.

“We're just trying to remember the sweet spirit she is, keep her close to us and do what we can do always remember her and be there for everybody,” said Shaleen Olsen, Brooklyn’s aunt.

With the bright flame of candles in hand, loved ones shine light on cherished memories of Brooklyn Reynolds during a vigil in Spanish Fork Monday evening.

“Just trying to understand why her,” Olsen said.

It was a life lost too soon.

“When we heard it was just mind blowing and we're still just trying to wrap our heads around it,” Olsen said.

Family and friends remember her life but some will never forget the tragic day her life was taken.

“We were in the no-wake zone it was just coming in we were inches from the dock it felt like and the very first lightning strike was... that was it,” said Brina James, Brooklyn’s step sister.

Friday was the family's last day of a week-long vacation at Flaming Gorge. Brooklyn was on the back of a jet ski - her step mom Jayleen Reynolds was driving. The two were yards away from the dock at Hidden Cove when a sudden storm rolled over the lake.

“You just seen a flash and the noise is something you'll never forget the loudest crack you've never heard in your life,” James said.

A deadly strike hit Brooklyn sending her and Jayleen crashing into the water. Brooklyn's dad rushed them both to the shore.

“We got Brooklyn up first and we started CPR immediately,” James said.

For an hour they tried to keep the two alive as they waited for a medical helicopter.

“We had doctors, nurses on scene, which we were so grateful for,” James said.

Despite their efforts, Brooklyn passed away.

“I was confused, lost. I couldn't hold it together anymore and we didn't know what to do,” James said.

Jayleen was taken by medical helicopter to the hospital in critical condition. She has since been released.

“I wish the end result was better. I wish we could have both of them here just a complete freak accident,” James said.

GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with the unexpected funeral costs.