Hiker hit by lightning woke up with "blood everywhere"

Mathias Steinhuber, of Innsbruck, Austria, who survived being struck by a lighting bolt, pauses while discussing the near-fatal event, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Steinhuber had been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail near Donner Summit Tuesday when he stopped to take a photo and was hit by the lighting. He was taken by helicopter to the the Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, before being flown to the University of California, Davis Hospital Burn Center where he is listed in fair condition. He said he received the wound near his eye from falling on rocks after the lighting strike. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Mathias Steinhuber, of Innsbruck, Austria, who survived being struck by a lighting bolt, pauses while discussing the near-fatal event, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Steinhuber had been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail near Donner Summit Tuesday when he stopped to take a photo and was hit by the lighting. He was taken by helicopter to the the Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, before being flown to the University of California, Davis Hospital Burn Center where he is listed in fair condition. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Some of the wounds Mathias Steinhuber received from being struck by a lighting bolt are seen on his right foot as he discusses the near-fatal event, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. His left foot, where the lightning exited his body, is wrapped. Steinhuber, of Innsbruck, Austria, had been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail near Donner Summit Tuesday when he stopped to take a photo and was hit by the lighting. He was taken by helicopter to the the Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, before being flown to the University of California, Davis Hospital Burn Center where he is listed in fair condition. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Mathias Steinhuber, of Innsbruck, Austria, who survived being struck by a lighting bolt discusses the near-fatal event, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. Steinhuber had been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail near Donner Summit Tuesday when he stopped to take a photo and was hit by the lighting. He was taken by helicopter to the the Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, before being flown to the University of California, Davis Hospital Burn Center where he is listed in fair condition. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An Austrian man hiking 9,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevada was on a peak taking a photo when he was struck by a lightning bolt that blasted away his clothes, burned a hole in one of his shoes and left him with severe burns.

Mathias Steinhuber, who was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with his girlfriend and their friend, had an entry wound on his head and an exit wound on his foot.

"It was like in a dream," Steinhuber told The Associated Press in an interview at the University of California, Davis Hospital Burn Center. "I woke up. I had blood everywhere, my clothes were ripped apart. At some distance I heard my girlfriend scream my name. My first conclusion was that I probably fell down the mountain."

Steinhuber said he doesn't remember being struck. While he could see a thunderstorm far in the distance, he said there was no rain or lightning nearby.

Steinhuber had burns throughout his body and was struggling to walk when a helicopter crew rescued him Tuesday from an exposed peak among the rugged mountains near Donner Summit, the California Highway Patrol Valley Air Operations said.

The couple from Innsbruck, Austria was visiting a friend, Carla Elvidge, in Truckee, California, near Lake Tahoe. Elvidge said she, Steinhuber and his girlfriend, Kathrin Klausner, were hiking from Donner Summit to Squaw Valley and that all are avid hikers.

Steinhuber was hiking ahead of his friends and had reached the top of Tinkers Knob, a bare peak with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and the forests below.

"He was taking a picture and the next thing I know, I see this white flash, like an explosion," Elvidge told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Fairfield, California.

Steinhuber was thrown away and his shoes and all his clothes, including his underwear, were ripped off from his body. The lightning bolt singed his clothes and burned a gaping hole through one of his tennis shoes.

A second lightning bolt struck next to Klausner, who felt the electricity in her body, and the two decided to take shelter and call for help, Elvidge said.

A helicopter landed on Tinker Knob, which is at an elevation of 8,949 feet, and dropped off a paramedic who tended to Steinhuber. He was taken to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee and then flown to the University of California, Davis Hospital Burn Center, where he was listed in fair condition on Thursday.

Elvidge and Klausner hiked out, uncertain whether Steinhuber would survive or endure debilitating injuries, Klausner said.

Steinhuber and Klausner said they feel extraordinarily lucky that he survived and are grateful for the quick response from rescuers.

"Somebody told me the odds are higher winning the lottery than getting struck by lightning," Steinhuber said. "I would've rather won the lottery."

Must Read

Israeli company says it has produced tiniest...

Jan 8, 2018

Israel's Kedma company in southern Arava desert says it's produced tiniest tomato, about the size...

Complex world of border trade: Cattle go north,...

May 22, 2017

Though Donald Trump calls NAFTA "a catastrophic trade deal for the United States," the reality is...

Mexico quake hit hard at center of Zapotec 'muxe'...

Sep 12, 2017

The magnitude 8.1 quake that killed 96 people across Mexico struck hardest in the heartland of...

Boy recalls escape from Mexico City school _ and...

Sep 20, 2017

A 12-year-old boy Mexico City boy who escaped a collapsing school can't stop thinking about the...

Have you seen this dog? Mexicans search for...

Sep 22, 2017

Signs seeking missing pets are scattered around Mexico's capital these days

People also read these

6-day war begets 50 years of strife for Israel

May 29, 2017

For Israel, 6-day war in which it vanquished several Arab armies, begets 50-year fight with...

Israel grinds to a halt as Jews fast for Yom...

Sep 29, 2017

The holiest day of the Jewish calendar has begun in Israel where most of the country has come to a...

Palestinians, a large Jerusalem minority, feel...

Dec 14, 2017

Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has stirred defiance and new fears of...

Man dies during horse race at Mexico girl's...

Dec 27, 2016

A man has been killed and another injured in a horse race during celebrations for a Mexico girl's...

Lorena Ochoa to play her LPGA Tour event in May

Mar 6, 2017

Lorena Ochoa is going to compete on the LPGA Tour for the first time in five years, but only for...

About Us

Walk To The Place offers travel news of popular destinations for travelers with the urge to explore these places.

Contact us: sales@walktotheplace.com

Subscribe Now!