Utah teen speaks out after she and church youth group survive lightning strike: ‘A miracle’

Utah teen speaks out after she and church youth group survive lightning strike: ‘A miracle’

A group of 50 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 were hiking in Salina Canyon, Utah, when the unexpected occurred.

The boys and girls were on a youth excursion with their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, trekking through mud when a storm rolled in and lightning struck the ground beneath them.

“It felt like someone had hit me with a baseball bat in my head and then a huge pressure of thousands of pounds was on me, but then it released, and my heart was beating so fast,” Peyton Bailey, 14, told Fox News Digital via email of the June 27 incident. “I stood up quickly, and we were all in shock saying, ‘We just got hit by lightning!’ We were giggling at first, but then the reality set in.”

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Two of the teens were flown via helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi, five were taken by ambulance and about two dozen were taken to the emergency room by their parents, FOX 13 reported, and JaRalle Bailey, Peyton Bailey’s mother, confirmed to Fox News Digital.

Every youth group member reported feeling the shock, according to FOX 13.

Peyton Bailey captured on video the exact moment the bolt struck.

The video shows the mix of hail and rain as group members can be heard screaming as lightning strikes.

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Peyton Bailey said the incident occurred during the first mile of the group’s 6-mile hike.

Bailey added that she saw her friend, Jacob, unconscious alongside others who were passed out on the ground as well.

She said that many of her friends reported symptoms of headaches and ringing in the ears.

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“The storm rolled in so fast and many of our leaders had already left to get the trucks to get us out of the storm. Had they not, we wouldn’t have gotten out so quick. That was a miracle before the lightning struck,” Bailey said.

The other “miracle” was how “spotty cell service” the group experienced during the hike suddenly cleared up after the incident.

The group leader and members were able to call 911.

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“It was a miracle that it hit the ground instead of one of us and that none of us were fatally killed. There are stories of entire elk and livestock herds being killed in incidents like this, but all of us are fine,” she said.

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Bailey was checked into and out of the emergency room the same day after medical staff ran an EKG, blood work and additional heart tests.

The teens weathered the storm with no group members reporting any life-threatening injuries.

“We believe angels and a loving Heavenly Father were protecting us,” Bailey said.

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There are roughly 40 million lightning strikes that hit the ground each year with almost 90% of all lightning strike victims surviving, according to the CDC.

The National Weather Service (NWS) offers lightning safety tips on its website.

“NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.”

“If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.”

“Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.”

“Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks”

“Never lie flat on the ground”

“Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water”

“Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)”

Fox News Digital reached out to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, whose officers responded to the incident, for comment.

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