While out camping by the reservoir with her husband and two daughters, Montana resident Racquel Williams-Rausch experienced one of the most terrifying experiences of her entire life.
Racquel used to love thunderstorms and appreciated their incredible beauty. She even told NBC Montana:
“It’s so beautiful in western Montana to see these lightning storms,” she said. “They’re our favorites and we just didn’t think anything of it.”
Just outside of Missoula, Racquel and her husband were with her kids camping just off the edge of the water and their neighbors were with them, too.
After seeing the storm brewing overhead, she said something to her husband about it as the kids and their neighbor went to fetch their paddleboards from the reservoir.
“I asked him, ‘What do you think the likelihood of us getting struck by lightning is?’ And he said, ‘You know, it’s very little.'”
As the two kids came back with their paddleboard in two, Racquel raised her hand in the air to celebrate and was holding her metal cup – like many of us do when we are having fun and drinking out of a Yeti!
But that instant would change Racquel’s life from that point on.
At that very second, a lightning bolt shot down from the sky and made contact with Racquel’s metal tumbler – sending a huge amount of voltage through her body, and leaving her with a terrifying memory she cannot shake.
“All of a sudden I froze and couldn’t move my arm and it was like everything went this amber orange color,” Williams-Rausch recalls. “Immediately it just grabbed hold of me and kind of, like, shook me. I was like floating in the air and I could see myself floating in the air and all I could think was like, I’m going to die. And so in that moment I prayed to God, ‘Please don’t take me yet, my girls need me.'”
Immediately, the family called 911 and she was rushed to the closest hospital – then airlifted to Missoula for first and second-degree burns.
The odds of being hit by lightning are incredibly slim – just one in a million each year. But this was truly the perfect storm.
Luckily, Racquel lived to tell the story. Hear it straight from her in the video below.