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Teen describes being struck by lightning during hike with youth group in Sevier County

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jun 28, 2024

SEVIER COUNTY, Utah — A hike for Salina church group took a quick turn after a nearby lightning strike on Thursday sent seven of them to the hospital.

14-year-old Peyton Bailey was capturing video on her phone as the rain, hail and lightning took place during the Salina Stake's trek experience, south of Fremont Junction in the eastern part of Sevier County.

"There's lightning and that's when like it so coincidentally just happened to just crash right in front of us," Bailey explained.

That's when yells and screams can be heard during the video Bailey captured on her phone.

"It was so bright and the sound was so loud, There was ringing in my ears and it felt like a bunch of weight had hit my head and pushed me backwards," said Bailey.

Bailey told FOX 13 News on Friday that it caused her to fall to the ground.

"I look around and like a few people had fallen but I was able to get back up really quickly and I was just so confused," said Bailey.

In all, 50 kids reported feeling the shock.

"It was a really chaotic moment and everyone who I've talked to had said that they had felt one way or another, whether it was a big jolt or a small jolt," said Bailey.

Sevier County Nathan Curtis says seven of the youth had medical concerns due to electrocution. He says two of the youth who were experiencing some serious symptoms due to the incident were flown by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital in Lehi.

Sheriff Curtis didn't have an update on any of the conditions of the youth on Friday.

"We all went and got checked out by the doctors though to be safe," said Bailey.

With the weather that rolled through that area on Thursday, FOX 13 News asked Bailey if she felt safety was a priority during the hike.

"They actually talked to us all, they're like the storm's coming in, it might be rainy, do you parents still wanna send your kids? And we all chose to go like this was no one's fault," said Bailey. "We had medical vehicles riding alongside us as we were walking and I think that's how we got kids out so quickly is because we had those medical vehicles ready."

Bailey says she is thankful no one was severely injured or killed due to the lightning strike.

"I just hope that everyone realizes the blessings and the miracles that just happened and I believe we can all move forward with this," said Bailey.

First responders from Sevier County Sheriff’s Office. Sevier County EMS, Salina Police, Sevier County SAR, Emery County Sheriff’s Office, Emery County EMS, Utah Highway Patrol, Richfield DPS communications Center all helped in response to the incident on Thursday.