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Teachers, Teens Recall Lightning Strike Rescue

Every year in the U.S., on average, 58 people are killed by lightning. But amazingly, just a month ago, two Utah teens were struck by lightning and survived, thanks to the work of some quick-thinking teachers.

The school day at Snow Canyon High in St. George, Utah, had just ended when a thunderstorm rolled through. CBS News correspondent Priya David Clemens reported on "The Early Show" two students took shelter under a tree when suddenly, their lives changed forever in a flash.

Alex Lambson, 17, and Dane Zdunich, 16, met on their high school debate team and quickly became close friends.

They were outside in the midst of an electrical storm, waiting for a ride home from school. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning hit Dane in the head and passed through him, striking Alex as well.

Ron Hansen, a teacher at Snow Canyon High, said, "Alexander, his clothes are gone, whew! They're just gone, and they're smoldering around the edges."

Hansen was first on scene, and feared the worst.

Hansen said, "I was blowing air into this body, and all I'm smelling is smoke, and I'm thinking his lungs are just burnt right out."

School officials performed CPR until after paramedics arrived.

Dr. Mike Tremea was in the emergency room that day. He said Dane had no pulse for 38 minutes.

Tremea told CBS News, "Direct strikes are usually fatal. ... The electrical current from the lightning bolt shut his heart down, so he stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating. He was clinically dead."

But doctors managed to save both boys, who are slowly recovering.

Alex's mother, Kayleen Talley, said, "When Alex finally kind of came to, in the hospital, I explained there's been an accident and he said, 'I'm a good driver, I would never get in an accident.' And I said, 'Well, you were hit by lightning.' And he said, 'lightning?'"

Tremea said, "These boys had a lot thrown at them. And with proper care they should be OK. So, never give up."

Recently, Hansen visited Alex in the hospital for the first time.

Hansen recalled the visit, saying, "And he said, 'I owe you my life.' ... And I said, 'No, you don't. No, you don't.'"

Leslie Broderick, Dane's mother said, "They saved our boys. They saved their lives, there's no question. So, grateful is the word that comes to mind."

Clemens added on "The Early Show," "The day after the strike, students put up a small sign saying, 'Believe.' It now serves as a reminder of the rescue that everyone here calls a miracle thanks to the everyday teachers who stepped up to become extraordinary heroes."

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