Boston student dies from lightning strike while camping

Via the Wyoming News Exchange

JACKSON (WNE) —An organized outdoor education course turned deadly Tuesday when a 22-year old Boston student suffered fatal cardiac arrest after lightning struck his tent.

Another student was injured in the strike while the group of 14 camped near Enos Lake in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. 

Teton County Search and Rescue responded to the call at 6:25 p.m. Tuesday. The lake rests at an elevation of 7,818 feet and is located 12 miles from the Pacific Creek trailhead.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed that the deceased student, Jack Murphy, was a Boston resident and the cause of death was a lightning strike.

The injured student was transferred via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and was released Wednesday, said Shana Tarter, NOLS associate director for wilderness medicine.

NOLS — National Outdoor Leadership School — is a Lander-based nonprofit school that teaches wilderness and leadership skills.

Murphy, along with 13 other backpackers, was participating in a NOLS outdoor educator course.

According to a NOLS press release, members of the group attempted to perform CPR on Murphy for over an hour but were unsuccessful, as were the CPR attempts made by Search and Rescue members once they arrived on the scene.

“This is a very sad day for NOLS, our students and our families,” NOLS President Terri Watson said in the press release. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family of our student who passed away on this course and are focused on supporting their family through its difficult process.”


This story was posted on August 4, 2022.


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