A man was minutes from proposing to his girlfriend on a hike in Carolina Friday when she was struck and killed by lightning.
“Everything went black. I was spun 180 degrees, thrown several feet back. My legs turned to jelly. My shoes were smoking and the bottom of my feet felt like they were on fire,” Richard Butler said.
He says that for a moment he thought he was the only one hit by the bolt of lightning. However, it was his girlfriend Bethany Lott, 25, who took the direct hit. She was hiking just a few feet in front of him.
“I crawled to her, rolled her over. They say she was gone automatically, but I tried CPR for probably 15 minutes,” Butler says.
He says they were nearly to the top of local beauty spot when the tragedy happened.
Friday was supposed to mark the beginning of the couple’s life together. Butler had a ring and was planning to propose.
“I picked that spot because she actually said she would like to get married there. She absolutely loved the outdoors. Her last words, about 30 seconds before it struck us, she turned to me and said, ‘God baby, look at it. Isn’t it beautiful?'”
Butler is struggling with her unexpected death, but says, “I’ve tried to be mad at God, but I can’t do it. I feel like it is my obligation to her to be as happy as I can be and be as productive with the rest of my life as can be and do as much good as she would’ve done if she could have.”
June 7th 2010