Skip to comments.Lightning Kills Boy Scout Leader, Injures Seven Others During Camping Trip
Posted on 07/29/2005 6:17:21 PM PDT by Pharmboy
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Lightning struck a group of Boy Scouts taking shelter from a storm, killing the troop leader and leaving a 13-year-old boy brain-dead in the latest tragedy to befall the organization this week, authorities and the teen's grandfather said. Six others were injured when the lightning bolt made a direct strike on a tarp the Scouts had set up in a meadow in Sequoia National Park on Thursday.
Ryan Collins, 13, was being kept on a ventilator so that his organs could be donated, the boy's grandfather said Friday. Collins was listed in critical condition at the University Medical Center in Fresno, but his family had given up hope.
"He would never recover or anything else," grandfather Bill Collins said.
The lightning strike came just days after four Scout leaders were electrocuted while putting up a tent at the National Scout Jamboree in Virginia. Dozens of Scouts were sickened by the stifling heat two days later at the jamboree.
At least one of the injured in the lightning strike was kept alive only because the troop managed to administer CPR for an hour, park ranger Alex Picavet said. It is not known which injured person that was.
"That's amazing," Picavet said. "It's very difficult. It's probably because of their Boy Scout training."
The assistant scoutmaster, Steve McCullagh, 29, was killed instantly when the bolt struck, the Tulare County coroner's office said.
"He didn't even make it off the mountain," said Sue Collins, the boy's mother, crying along with her husband and younger son at the hospital. "It's horrible. It's a fluke."
One troop member was being kept for observation at the Fresno hospital, and all the others were treated and released from another hospital, authorities said.
The scout group from St. Helena, which included five adults and seven teenage scouts, had been camping for a week as part of a nine-day backcountry hike along the John Muir Trail.
A lightning bolt made a direct strike on one of two tarps they had set up in a meadow. Two teenagers ran 25 minutes to a ranger station after the strike, and five helicopters flew in to evacuate the group.
"They did the best they could in the situation they were in," Picavet said. "They didn't have metal poles, and stayed away from high points."
Collins said his grandson was a scout for more than three years and loved the outdoors.
"He was a fabulous boy. He was doing what he loved to do," Collins said. "It's just a tremendous shock to everybody."
It's been a bad week for the boy scouts.
How could they hit by the lightening with just a tarp? Is there metal attached?
This has got to have an effect on their recruiting.
Dang! Sounds like the Zotamatic has been miscallibrated. What a week.
Very sorry to hear this. I respect the folks who volunteer their time to help kids get a good start. This is terrible.
None of the stories mentioned metal One would think that during a lightening storm they would move away from anything metal. But what were they putting up the tarp with? You ask an excellent question.
"How could they hit by the lightening with just a tarp? Is there metal attached?"
You don't need metal, just be the highest point in the area.
"You don't need metal, just be the highest point in the area."
Especially if it was wet.
Pine trees don't have metal in them.
What do you mean? What kind of message?
And what would that be? Be careful in thunderstorms? What the heck are you implying?
Where do you think lightning comes from?
It said they put them up in a meadow. They were probably the highest exposed point.
A couple months ago a NJ boy scout fell off a boat on a scouting trip and drowned in the ocean. I remember a few years back when two or three scouts got washed off a bridge on a river in flood, and drowned.
And we just signed up our son for Cub Scouts. Mother's nerves here.
What kind of message? What do you mean? Do you know?
It's been a bad summer for the Scouts.
Lightning is an electrostatic breakdown event. It does not come from God.
Doe Eyes is going to tell us what the message was from God about the tragedy for this scouts.....lets wait....