Woman Remains in Intensive Care after Struck by Lightning in Anoka Co.

Updated: 06/02/2014 7:53 AM
Created: 06/01/2014 5:03 PM
By: Beth McDonough

A 48-year-old Dayton woman hit by lightning Saturday remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital. 

Christine Kloeppne was watching a youth baseball game at the 2014 Blaine Classic Tournament at Lion's Park in Ham Lake when she was hit.

One of the paramedics who helped Kloeppner out in the minutes after the lightning strike said lightning strikes don't happen all that often, but injuries can be serious or life-threatening when they do. Benjamin Uden is a paramedic with Allina, and of all the calls for help he's been on, this is the first time he's come to the aid of a person struck by lightning.

Witnesses say the incident happened at 2:45 p.m. when Kloeppner was huddled near a tree, riding out a torrential downpour.

As Uden pulled up to the athletic field in Anoka County, he says Kloeppner was shielded with umbrellas and surrounded by people. A stranger was already performing CPR. Kloeppner says quick action gave the woman a fighting chance; when he took over, she didn't have a pulse and wasn't breathing. 

Time was of the essence.

"With the rhythm she was in, with early CPR and early defibrillation, that greatly increases a person's chances for survival," Uden said.

Witnesses told us Kloeppner is the wife of a coach. As of Sunday evening, she was in ICU at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.

Spectators said the lightning strike was scary and sounded like an explosion. Others at the scene confirm the game had been delayed earlier because of menacing weather, and after the strike the game was called off.

The lightning strike was one of three in Ham Lake.

A home along 145th Lane Avenue Northeast caught fire after being struck by lightning, and there are reports of another property being struck and three people being trapped in an elevator at 2200 North 2nd. Ave. when power went out.

Look here for up-to-date weather conditions.

Photo: Christine Kloeppner/ Facebook

Minneapolis/St. Paul

67° | 58°
  • Feels like: 61° F
  • Wind: E 13mph
  • Humidity: 87%