Lightning kills woman on Max Patch

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Asheville Citizen-Times is reporting that a woman was killed when she was struck by lightning while hiking on Max Patch Bald just northeast of the Great Smoky Mountains.

The victim was struck during a thunderstorm around 4:30 p.m. Friday as she hiked in an open area on U.S. Forest Service land near the Tennessee line, said Capt. Levi Roullard of the Spring Creek Fire Department.

The woman, whose name wasn’t immediately released, was dead at the scene. A Madison County dispatcher said she was from out of state.

Roullard said that if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm, it’s best to stay out of open areas and seek a lower elevation if possible. Also avoid getting under tall trees.

The hiker's death occurs just days after a single lightning strike in Yellowstone National Park injured nine people. All nine visitors were on the boardwalk or on walkways around Old Faithful Geyser when a small thunderstorm cell produced a single lightning bolt. Click here to read the full story.

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.


Unknown said...

Wow, when I thru hiked, I told fellow hikers that this was one of the true deadly hazards of the great outdoors. Had a real scary experience in the Presidentials with some way too near close-calls, there were some day hikers out there from onr of the huts, I felt like yelling at them and saying, "what in the hell are you doing out here, get your butt back to the hut"

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...


Lightning is very scary and should be taken seriously. Three times I've been caught in situations where storms moved in way too quickly while hiking out in Colorado. Trust me, we moved down those mountains as quickly as possible.