Around 12:30 a.m. on Friday, July 20, 22-year-old Brittney Prehn of Woodstock, Ill. was struck by lightning at the campgrounds of the Country Thunder Festival in Twin Lakes, Wis. According to a Facebook post written the morning of the incident by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Prehn was taken to Illinois for emergency treatment. With no further updates at this time, it appears she’s still in critical condition in intensive care.
FOX 6 writes that Prehn was most likely on her phone when the bolt of lightning struck her, entering through the cell phone and exiting through her foot. “She had a hole in the side of her head, she had a boot on, a normal boot and it was blown off of her foot,” witness Thomas Wiskirchen told the news. “Her phone was fried and her vape was fried.”
Witness Kayla Byrne spoke to WISN TV and provided video of the lightning strike that occurred near her tent. She was filming the rain pouring down after the music on the first night of the festival ended. Byrne was moved to tears during the interview, hoping that Prehn will be ok after she found her unresponsive with her ear bleeding.
Prehn didn’t have identification on her at the time of the incident, and since her family and friends were in two separate campgrounds, it took a little time for them to realize that something was wrong. Her mother identified her from a tattoo.
According to AMTA, cell phone use does not attract lightning. This appears to have been a freak accident.
The Country Thunder Music Festival takes place in Arizona, Wisconsin and Canada with dates in April through August. Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley and Sam Hunt headlined Country Thunder Wisconsin this year.