Colorado rancher killed along with his cattle in lightning strike.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 
-A rancher feeding his cattle was struck to death by lightning along with 34 of his cows in Colorado. 

Mike Morgan, 51, was giving his animals food from a trailer when the bolt hit him around 2pm on Saturday, May 25, said the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. 

Bystanders and first responders performed life-saving measures on Morgan but he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

“Our deepest condolences go out to family and friends during this difficult time,” the sheriff’s office stated

The lightning hit an area of open pasture near the town of Rand as well as more than 100 head of cattle that were gathered around the trailer filled with hay, said the county coroner, George Crocket. 

Out of the 100 cows hit by lightning, 34 died and the rest survived.

“All but the 34 got up,” Crocket said of the cattle. 

Morgan’s wife and father-in-law were close by at the time the bolt struck and survived, he added. 

Rand is located about 80 miles northwest of Denver. 

The death shocked the tight-knit community where neighbours all knew each other, Crockett said.

Morgan is survived by his wife Niki and his 17-year-old daughter, Dallas, both of whom are involved in the ranching occupation as well. 

 The His Cavvy Foundation described Morgan and his family as “an upstanding pillar” in the town of Walden, Colorado. 

The foundation's post explained that Morgan had always been working on a local ranch, which recently afforded the family the opportunity to purchase 300 pairs. Pairs refer to a cow and her calf. 

“Mike’s wife, Niki, has spent all winter calving these pairs out while Mike held down a job at Silver Spur Ranches,” the post said. 

“They do what we all do, whatever it takes to make a living, and they do it by doing what we are all passionate about. Ranching…”

The His Cavvy Foundation wrote that Morgan's family has donated time, resources and finances to its various causes throughout the years. 

“Mike was a loving father and a tender, intentional husband,” the post said. “We will all miss that big ole smile he always carried.”

Colorado has one of the highest rates among US states of lightning fatalities and injuries recently, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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