A lightning strike in Colorado killed a newlywed hiker on Friday, just six days after her wedding.
Kathleen Bartlett, 31, and her husband Ryan Pocius, 32, were hiking Mt. Yale at about 12,400 feet when lightning struck, severely injuring them both, NBC affiliate KUSA reported
Witnesses had no cell service
, and were forced to hike over two miles and then drive until they found a signal to call 911. Because of the storm conditions, as well as the remoteness and steepness of the terrain, it took responders roughly two hours to reach the couple.
Pocius was airlifted to Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, and was said to be in critical but stable condition. Bartlett was pronounced dead on the mountain.
Two other hikers were also struck Friday afternoon. They said they briefly lost consciousness, but did not appear to be severely injured after being examined by medics at the trailhead.
"She was just so in love and so grateful and just so happy," Deborah Young, Bartlett's friend, travel partner, and former college professor, told ABC News Denver
. "My heart goes to [Pocius] incredibly. The pain he must be feeling, I can't even imagine."
Several years ago, Bartlett and Young traveled to Nicaragua to help educated children living and working in landfills. She said Bartlett was a true humanitarian, and even tended to a girl who had been burned by a bag of trash that ignited.
"Fires would just start there, and this woman had been burned," Young recalled. "And Katie got our first aid bag and bent down and started to treat her burns. She was just a very generous, caring and giving person."
Young said that she is now working to create a scholarship in Bartlett's name.
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