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Country Thunder fan struck by lightning to return despite extreme heat

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 11:08:58-04

Brittney Prehn will be back at Country Thunder this weekend, just one year after being struck by lightning at the festival.

She still has a long road to full recovery. Last time we met with her, she told us why she’s returning.

“I’m not going to let something little - well, not little - but something like this, stop me from doing something I love to do,” Prehn said. “I’ve been going for years.”

“We’ve gotten really close with her, and what happened to her, made us realize that anything can happen, literally at any time,” said Gerry Krochak, the Director of Marketing for Country Thunder. “I think her doctor told her to be careful because she could maybe experience some PTSD by going back to the site where she was injured, but she told her doctor that she wanted to go. Now, we just want to make sure she’s as comfortable and supported as she can be while she’s here.”

“I hate to say it was an act of God, but it was one of those things we couldn't change,” said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.

Sheriff Beth acknowledged that first responders and law enforcement can’t prevent bad things from happening to everyone. But with a mobile command unit set up at the festival, they’re trying.

“Our deputies are going up and down through all the camp areas, all the parking areas, all the time,” he said. “We also have medics, doctors and nurses in a tent ready to help anyone.”

And authorities are in constant contact with the National Weather Service, in case any severe weather breaks. Tens of thousands of people fill Country Thunder, which is held in open fields with little protection from the elements.

“The generator provides us power for electricity,” said one camper, who comes with a RV. “That’s key, because it allows us to turn on air conditioning for a few hours every day.”

But most who attend don’t have access to air conditioning, or much shade from the sun. So if you plan to attend, come prepared with water, sunscreen, and other necessities.