Fire officials: Soldiers help rescue lightning victim

By: JAKOB RODGERS
July 10, 2010
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A lightning strike left a paintball player critically injured Saturday afternoon after a bolt hit a hilltop where  six people were gathered, firefighters said.

Firefighters with the Ellicott Fire Department said the man, in his 20s, was hit at about 1:40 p.m. as he played at Dragon Man’s Paintball Park off Highway 94 near Schriever Air Force Base.

He was standing with five others atop a hill when the bolt hit. Amazingly, only one person was injured, firefighters said.

Paintball players including several soldiers rushed to help the man, administering CPR.

“They did what soldiers do,” said firefighter John Scorsine. “They serve people who are down.”

The man was flown by helicopter to a Denver hospital. His condition wasn’t available Saturday evening.

A worker who answered the phone at the paintball venue, said the man was breathing when he was loaded aboard the helicopter. The woman would not give her name.

Scorsine said he has responded to a lightning strike call where a single bolt left 12 children injured.

Why only one man was injured Saturday remains a mystery.

“I never question good fortune,” Scorsine said.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service office in Pueblo said the area near Schriever was struck three times by lightning as a powerful afternoon storm moved through.

Forecasters said people should head seek shelter when thunderclouds are overhead.

There’s a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms Sunday in the Pikes Peak region with storms growing after 3 p.m.

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