MILLARD COUNTY, Utah – The odds are slim, but family members of the father and daughter struck by lightning in Millard County are full of gratitude.
“One in a million, I can’t believe it,” family member Josh Halverson said.
Halverson’s brother-in-law Scott Robinson and his niece Chloe were at the Territorial State House in Fillmore Thursday night, playing pioneer games during a youth conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Witnesses describe sunny skies before a storm suddenly moved in and the unbelievable happened.
“A big lightning strike hit my brother-in-law right in the head,” said Halverson, who drove in from out of state as soon as he got the news from his sister, Scott’s wife. “My dear sister has taken this and turned it into really a positive experience. She’s been really strong under the most difficult of circumstances.”
A witness described hearing “a big crack and a buzz and everybody started scattering.”
Scott and his 17-year-old daughter Chloe dropped to the ground, as another one of his daughters looked on.
“You always jump to the worst conclusions,” Halverson remembers thinking after hearing the news.
But he says at least three others moved in on his brother-in-law and performed CPR until medics arrived.
“Thank you, that person is an angel…I literally can’t thank them enough for that. They saved my brother-in-law’s life.”
The Millard County Sheriff’s office says Chloe regained consciousness but was disoriented and had first degree burns and a damaged ear drum.
“Chloe is doing outstanding. Just amazingly minimal damage,” Halverson said after visiting her at the University of Utah Hospital.
But there is still concern for her dad. Authorities say he regained a pulse but required artificial respiration on the way to the hospital.
“What we’re nervous about are internal kind of organ damage,” said Halverson.
The sudden strike has taken a toll on the family, but Halverson said cardiac and neurological tests have so far been positive for Scott. And the family can’t help but be thankful for the heroic efforts of others.
“It has motivated me and my family and many other families to get up to speed on CPR. And to learn it. Because you never know when you’ll need it.”