A 24-year-old man was riding his mountain bike on a trail in Colorado with his girlfriend this weekend when he was struck and killed by lightening.
According to the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, the deadly incident took place just before noon on Sunday on the East Fork Train near the Lizard Head Wilderness outside Telluride.
The victim, identified as Josh Huisjen, of Durango, Colorado, was biking with his girlfriend, believed to be Caitlin Lucas, when a storm rolled in with multiple lightening strikes in the area.
An off-duty EMT from Telluride told deputies he was also biking with a friend at the time and sought shelter from the storm beneath the tree line.
The pair were about 100 yards away from Huisjen and Lucas when the woman came running to the EMT for help, saying her boyfriend had been struck by lightning.
The first responder rushed to Huisjen’s aid and found the 24-year-old man, who was unresposnvie and had no pulse. The emt attempted to reivie him by performing CPR and sent his comapion to call 911 and try to find a defibrillator.
Other bystanders helped the first responder with CPR, but their efforts were not successful.
Deputies, Telluride EMS and Search and Rescue personnel responded and hiked up approximately one half mile to the patient, but he could not be saved
Lucas was taken to a hospital to be treated for non life-threatning injuries.
‘This is a horrible tragedy. Our thoughts are with his family,’ Sheriff Masters said of Huisjen in a statement.
He also wanted to thank the EMT, bystanders, and all of the responders who ‘did everything they could for this young man.’
According to his Facebook page, Huisjen graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2015 and was employed at the US Forest Service.
Huisjen and Lucas had been dating for three years, having first met in college.
Both their social media accounts are filled with photos from their adventures in the great outdoors, including white-water rafting, kayaking, skiing and hiking.