Three Horses Dead After Being Struck By Lightning

Today's early morning storm caused damage all over northern Michigan.

One Mecosta County couple woke up to something even worse than downed trees, or a messy yard. Three of their horses were killed by lightning.

Norman Erickson and Darlene Owens say were awoken early this morning by their dogs, who seemed agitated by something.

Darlene says when she went outside, she couldn't believe what she saw.

“I was out on the porch, and I looked over there and I could see that them horses was dead. All I could see were three horses laying in a pile more or less,” explained Darlene.

Norman and Darlene say they have a good idea of how the horses got there.

“They went underneath that tree during that rainstorm, and that's when it happened,” Norman said.

The three horses, Thunder, Holly, and Cheyenne; all struck by lightning.

“That black one had shoes on, and I think that's where the electricity came down the three and hit him, bounced onto the other ones, and got them too, because they were all together.”

Norman says he's never had something like this happen in the 30 years he's owned horses.

“You better believe I was shocked. That's the first time I've ever had a horse die on the farm, or get hurt on the farm like that. Unbelievable to see three of them laying there,” explained Norman, still in disbelief. 

Darlene and Norman say they aren't surprised that the three horses were huddled together.

“They stayed together, they always looked out for one another.”

A trio that Norman says, he'll never forget.

“Those three here, were three good horses. Of all them, those three were my favorite horses.”

Norman has already buried the horses on his property.

He says while they are irreplaceable, he may get new horses so he can continue to use his buggies.