Lightning Strike In Colorado Leaves Rancher 34 Cows Dead

A Colorado rancher and 34 of his cows were killed instantly when a lightning bolt struck them on Saturday afternoon. The tragic incident occurred in the small town of Rand about 120 miles northwest of Denver.

Mike Morgan was feeding his cattle from a trailer when the deadly strike happened. Despite efforts to save his life, Morgan was pronounced dead at the scene. The lightning also knocked down approximately 100 head of cattle that had gathered around the hay-filled trailer but only 34 succumbed to the powerful blast.

Morgan’s wife and father-in-law were near the scene of the tragic death, but were fortunately unharmed.

The U.S. experiences millions of lightning strikes each year but fatalities from these events are incredibly rare. According to data from the National Weather Service the country averaged 43 lightning-related deaths annually between 1989 and 2018.

The odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are around one in a million and most people struck actually do survive the ordeal. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that Colorado is among the top states for lightning strike injuries with an average of 16 to 30 per year.

As the residents of Rand come to terms with this heartbreaking loss they are reminded of the raw and sometimes deadly power of nature and the fragility of life in the face of such forces.