Jun 8, 2010 4:02 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Lightning strikes couple as he prepares to propose

Richard Butler and Bethany Lott set out for a hike in Tennessee last Friday, in a miserable storm. A 25-year-old college student who dreamed of becoming a park ranger, Bethany's favorite spot was Max Patch.

"We got most of the way up to Max Patch, through the rain, and then all of a sudden the most brilliant sun broke through," Butler explained. "She said, 'This is the difference between me and everyone else. Most people would see the rain and turn around, but I go looking for the sunshine and grab it while I can."

Butler had an engagement ring in his pocket. When they reached Max Patch, he planned to propose.  He never got the chance. Lightning knocked both of them to the ground. Richard got up. Bethany did not.

Richard tried to call for help but there was no cell phone reception. He performed CPR but Bethany didn't respond.

Now Richard is looking for sunshine as he works through the dark clouds of grief, remembering the woman he planned to spend the rest of his life with.


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