Colorado Rancher's Death Marks First Lightning Strike Fatality in U.S. for 2024

Colorado Rancher’s Death Marks First Lightning Strike Fatality in U.S. for 2024

A rancher in the area was killed by what is thought to have been the first fatal lightning strike of the year during a rainstorm that passed through rural Jackson County, Colorado, on Saturday.

The 51-year-old man was caring to his livestock when the strike happened, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Apart from the rancher, other cows were said to have perished in the storm; nevertheless, no human casualties were believed to have occurred.

Only a small percentage of the hundreds of millions of lightning strikes that are registered in the United States each year turn lethal.

Based on NOAA figures, lightning strikes hurt hundreds of people and kills approximately 23 Americans annually.

Ranching is one of a dozen activities that cause the greatest number of deaths nationwide, according to data gathered by the National Lightning Safety Council.

According to reports, the Jackson County tragedy is the first in Centennial State since 2020, when a lady was struck and died in the state’s southwest.

Lightning-related deaths have been steadily declining, even the recent death. There were 14 lightning-related deaths in 2023, a 65% reduction from just seven years prior.

Read Also: 22 Dead, Thousands Lose Power as Storms Hit Over Memorial Day Weekend

A bolt of lightning with 300 million volts of power can travel 10 to 12 miles outside of a thunderstorm, according to the NWS.

The man’s family was sent their condolences by the North Park Stockgrowers Association, a group that supports the local cattle sector.

“Our western ranching community will feel this for a long time. We all know what we do has a high degree of risk. We do it anyway. We do it for the livestock. We do it for the landscape. We do it for food security. We do it for our family – past, present and future. We do it because it feels right. We do it because it is right,” a neighboring ranch wrote on Facebook.

The family set up a food and contribution site, and in the days following the event, they had already raised around $10,000, according to reports.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.