Lightning kills US woman before fiance proposed
Richard Butler wanted his girlfriend to think they were just taking a scenic hike in the North Carolina mountains, but he had a secret plan. When they got to the top, he planned to pull out a ring and ask her to be his bride.
Lightning struck three times as the Knoxville, Tennessee, couple were on Max Patch Bald, near Asheville. The third hit Butler, 30, and his girlfriend, Bethany Lott, 25, killing her on Friday, he told the Asheville Citizen Times. He suffered third degree burns.
"She didn't say anything, and I turned around and she was laying a few feet away, and I crawled to her," he told the newspaper on Monday. "I did CPR for probably 15 minutes and the whole time was trying her cell phone, but I couldn't get anything out."
He described the lightning strike.
"I was spun 180 degrees and thrown several feet back," he told the newspaper. "My legs turned to Jello, my shoes were smoking and the bottom of my feet felt like they were on fire."
His mother, Janet Delaney, said her future daughter-in-law loved the mountains.
"She hiked thousands of miles and spent a couple of years in Utah just hiking," Delaney, also of Knoxville, told The Associated Press.
She and her son are mourning instead of celebrating the joy the engagement would have brought.
Heavy rain let up as the two walked toward the bald peak, but more bad weather returned including the lightning, Butler said.
"Her last words were, 'Look at how beautiful it is,"' Delaney said.
Butler turned around to see his fiancee lying on the hill.
Unable to carry her down the hill, Butler drove to the first home he found. A father and his son, who was home on leave from the Navy, jumped in Butler's truck and raced back to the bald.
"They stood on the top of the hill doing what they could for probably 20 minutes until the rescuers got there," Butler said.
After rescuers arrived, they tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Lott.
Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Oklahoma tornado latest: Obama pledges support for 'as long as it takes' to rebuild the suburb of Moore
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Salary Package: Austen Lloyd: We have an exciting opportunity for a ...
£200 - £250 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Java Developer - Urgent Requirem...
£70000 - £95000 per annum + Bonus, flexible working hours, remote work: Progre...
£50000 - £56000 per annum + Benefits package, flexible working hours: Progress...