BUCKEYE, Ariz. (KSAZ)
A man is trying to recover in the hospital tonight after being struck by lightning while riding his horse.
Unfortunately the horse passed away.
The rider, a 31-year-old man, is currently in critical condition.
After being struck by lightning, he was thrown from the horse and then went into cardiac arrest.
A neighbor who heard and saw everything ran to help.
"It was real windy and dusty at the time and there had been some sprinkles and that was about it, but there had been a lot of lightning flashing," said Robert Beaver.
Deputy Joaquin Enriquez with MCSO told us that around 3:30 this afternoon, three men were riding their horses through this open desert in Rainbow Valley, near Airport Road and Arlington Road when one of the riders, a 31-year-old male, and his horse were struck by lightning.
"When he was transported the fire department was saying he was in and out of consciousness, he was very bad. They decided to transport him to the Maricopa Medical Center for his burns, he is very burned on the upper part of his body," said Enriquez.
Robert Beaver is a retired volunteer firefighter. He was working outside across the street when he heard and saw the commotion.
"Heard a big boom, crack sound and saw some sparks flying in the air. My wife was outside and she was watching them ride," Beaver said.
He ran to the man and took over CPR.
“He was unconscious, his color was bad, he had burns on his neck and chest and down on his belly and his cowboy hat was just blown apart on the top where the lightning hit," said Beaver.
Another rider was also thrown from his horse.
He suffered minor injuries and the third rider was not hurt.