WELD COUNTY - Two men were injured on Monday afternoon, one critically, when they were hit by lightning in a rural area of Weld County.
The Weld County Sheriff's Office says three people were out skeet shooting around 2:15 p.m. and, according to witnesses, a shotgun was pointed in the air at a farmhouse near the town of Lucerne.
Weld County Undersheriff Margie Martinez says the lightning may have hit one of the men's shotguns because it exploded in his hands.
"The shotgun itself got a direct hit of the lightning strike. The stock of it was completely splintered, creating an explosion type of an event and him taking a direct hit of the lightning strike," Martinez said.
Martinez says the man holding the shotgun suffered injuries and the man standing near him was knocked down. Both were taken to the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.
The men were identified as 32-year-old Josh Renuch and 32-year-old Brent Kuehne. Renuch is listed in critical condition and Kuehne is in good condition.
"We were shooting clay pigeons, but I decided to go in the house and all we heard was a big boom," Robert Muirhed, one of the people who was at the farm, said. "Josh got directly hit by lightning and we managed to keep him alive and mostly out of shock and bring him back around. Brent's doing OK and - I'm pretty freaked out."
A spokesman for Kuehne's family, Dave Carpenter, says it's expected he'll be kept overnight for a possible concussion and will be released on Tuesday.
He says Kuehne is a volunteer firefighter for Platte Valley Fire and tried to tell people about the medical kit in his car, but he couldn't communicate it.
Kuehne told Carpenter he had no idea it was lightning until they told him later.
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