Colorado Rancher And 34 Cows Killed In Freak Lightning Strike

Tragedy struck the small town of Rand Colorado on Saturday when a lightning bolt claimed the lives of a local rancher and 34 of his cattle. Mike Morgan 51 was feeding his herd from a trailer when the deadly strike occurred.

Despite life-saving efforts, Morgan was pronounced dead at the scene. The lightning also knocked down around 100 head of cattle that had gathered around the hay-filled trailer but only 34 failed to get back up.

Morgan’s father-in-law and wife who were nearby when the tragedy unfolded survived the incident. The freak accident has left the tight-knit community of Rand which is located about 120 miles northwest of Denver reeling.

While lightning strikes are relatively common with the U.S. averaging around 40 million ground strikes per year deaths from these events are exceedingly rare. According to the National Weather Service the country sees an average of 43 lightning-related fatalities annually based on data from 1989 to 2018.

The odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are approximately one in a million and 90% of those who are struck survive the ordeal. However, the NWS notes that a person’s lifetime chances of being struck are closer to one in 15,000.