Woman Struck by Lightning at Country Thunder Festival in Wisconsin
An Illinois woman suffered serious injuries when she was hit by lighting early Friday (July 20) at the Country Thunder Festival in Wisconsin.
According to multiple reports, 22-year-old Brittney N. Prehn was holding her cellphone when a bolt of lightning struck her in the ear and ran through her body. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department responded to the Country Thunder Music Festival grounds in Twin Lakes, Wisc., around 12:36AM on Friday after receiving reports of a woman “who was believed to have been struck by lightning.”
Prehn was taken to Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry, where she received initial treatment for what authorities characterized as "serious injuries." The victim was unconscious and had no identification on her when she was found. Authorities called on the public to help identify her.
Speaking to news station WTMJ Channel 4 in Milwaukee, bystanders described taking shelter in their tents on the festival campgrounds as a storm swept through the area. They were stunned when lightning struck nearby.
"It sounded like it was really close," one camper recalls. "Like there was a mortar that just went off underneath our tent."
Another camper described Prehn's condition before responders arrived.
"Her shoe exploded off, her other shoe was all black and burnt, and she had blood coming from her ears."
"It looked like she was dead," another festivalgoer says.
WTMJ reports that Prehn has been transferred to Loyola Medical Center in Chicago, where she remained in critical condition on Friday.
"It almost appears she was struck while talking on the phone. There's significant damage to the phone that caused the injuries to her face, and the electricity exit was through her foot," a hospital media tells ABC News in Chicago. ABC reports Prehn is in intensive care.
Loyola declined to give an update on her condition when Taste of Country contacted the hospital on Saturday (July 21).
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