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Lightning Kills Boy Scout Leader, Injures Seven Others During Camping Trip
Associated Press ^ | Jul 29, 2005 | Juliana Barbassa

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."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: boyscouts; bsa; bsalist; ca; california; fresno; lightening; lightning; summercamp; tragedy
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To: Pharmboy

They camped in a meadow, offering a high profile path for electrical charge flow.


21 posted on 07/29/2005 6:52:41 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo
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To: SunnyUsa
What kind of message? nice try on the dodge with another question:

Don't know where you got that from, but it wasn't from me.

22 posted on 07/29/2005 6:53:26 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Pharmboy

SEEK: Seek clumps of shrubs or trees of uniform height. Seek ditches, trenches or the low ground. Seek a low, crouching position with feet together with hands on ears to minimize acoujstic shock from thunder.

http://www.sierrapacktrip.com/lightning_safety.html

23 posted on 07/29/2005 6:54:40 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo
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To: bnelson44

We camped in a valley in the Sierra Nevadas, and there was a lighting strike somewhere in the valley every 30 seconds for a two hour period. We pitched the tent where the boulders around us were at least twice the height of the tent.


24 posted on 07/29/2005 6:57:22 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo
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To: VeritatisSplendor

I have noticed when we attended some girls' soccer games, a pretty new activity for us, it was thundering and lightning off in the distance, raining a little. I had heard that even if the lightning is in the distance, you get inside anyway. They kept the game going as if it were just a very serious matter to keep it going, and would not call the game until a bolt of lightning struck a light pole on the field! This was a little girls' soccer game for goodness sake. These school sports have taken on a life of their own, and adults who are supposed to know better, treat them like they are life and death (which they may well become for reasons other than they imagine); guess the coach's job and the school administration is the name of the game at the end of the day. A lot more people than one would think seem to like risk taking.


25 posted on 07/29/2005 6:57:31 PM PDT by Twinkie (Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.)
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To: Twinkie

Last year a young man from our church was killed at the beach by a lightning bolt from nowhere - no thunderstorm at all. But when you see the storm - for goodness' sake get off the field. I think in NJ the sports teams are somewhat more cautious after a few instances of golfers and soccer players being struck.

Mrs VS


26 posted on 07/29/2005 7:01:10 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: Doe Eyes
Don't know where you got that from, but it wasn't from me.

Pls try to stay focused:

You said:

To: Pharmboy

God must be sending a message.

10 posted on 07/29/2005 9:32:59 PM EDT by Doe Eyes

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I said:

What kind of message?

You answered with ANOTHER QUESTION, :

Where do you think lightning comes from?

hence the dodge by you not to answer a simple question

So what are you saying Doe Eyes?

What was the message, please enlighten us....

27 posted on 07/29/2005 7:03:51 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
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To: VeritatisSplendor

Mrs. VS,

I just checked some stats. There are 988,000 Boy Scouts and 885,000 Cub Scouts. Your son just became part of a huge, incredible organization.

However, with numbers like that, sadly it's inevitable that some tragedy will befall a small number of them, sometimes unavoidably unless parents decide that ultimate safety (padded walls and a couch) is better than living a life of fun, adventure and a little bit of risk.

Although I was a Cub Scout as a child, I did not continue. Now that I'm a dad, I have two boys in Scouting this year, Webelo and Tiger. I'm a leader of our Pack and am enjoying every minute. Scouting is an incredible organization with an enviable safety record.

That said, don't worry and have fun with your son.


28 posted on 07/29/2005 7:04:12 PM PDT by cyclotic (Cub Scouts-Teach 'em young to be men, and politically incorrect in the process)
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To: Doe Eyes

So what message is God sending when lightning strikes and kills a 13 year old boy? Are you going to enlighten us? Or are you just full of cr#p?


29 posted on 07/29/2005 7:05:27 PM PDT by unbalanced but fair
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To: unbalanced but fair

I wonder if restrictions on camp sites from environmental concerns (too close to a stream, etc.) prompted them to pitch where it was unsafe.


30 posted on 07/29/2005 7:07:54 PM PDT by Fitzcarraldo
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To: SunnyUsa
So what are you saying Doe Eyes?

Where does lightning come from?

31 posted on 07/29/2005 7:10:10 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Doe Eyes
God must be sending a message.

I knew somebody would say that!
LOL

32 posted on 07/29/2005 7:10:27 PM PDT by blueberry12
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To: Pharmboy
Lightning deaths in California are relatively rare. Few areas other than the Sierra see lightning. Florida, as in so many other areas, leads the way.

Number of Lightning Deaths in the United States, 1990-2003


33 posted on 07/29/2005 7:13:55 PM PDT by Plutarch
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To: Pharmboy

Don't most tarps have grommets? There may be enough metal on them to attract lightening if conditions are right, I guess.

I'm sorry for this boy and his family. I pray for them.


34 posted on 07/29/2005 7:14:12 PM PDT by Exit148 (Founder of the Loose Change Club. Every nickle and dime counts!!)
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To: Fitzcarraldo
The key is to pick places with low ground conductivity. They would have been better off next to rock formations rather than the soiled field. The charge wanders along the ground to points, where the field concentrates. In general, the atmospheric charge drives the ground charge movement. The least likely places to be hit are where the ground conductivity is the lowest.

Rocks act like dielectrics that lower the field. Conductive point like objects like trees, people and poles, raise the field. Cracks in the rocks filled with dirt and tree roots are conductive paths.

35 posted on 07/29/2005 7:14:31 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: Doe Eyes
Where does lightning come from?

I don't have a clue, so I would be very appreciative if you would tell me!!!

36 posted on 07/29/2005 7:17:44 PM PDT by Double Tap
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To: Doe Eyes
Caught in the headlights Doe Eyes?

Not too proud of what you said are you?

You can't justify it, you can only dodge it now...we know

You can't bring yourself to post what you really meant to say can you?

I'll just repeat it for everyone to see the way you think

News Story:

Lightning Kills Boy Scout Leader, Boyscout braindead, Injures Seven Others During Camping Trip

To: Pharmboy

God must be sending a message.

10 posted on 07/29/2005 9:32:59 PM EDT by Doe Eyes

37 posted on 07/29/2005 7:18:39 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
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To: spunkets
"Lightning is an electrostatic breakdown event. It does not come from God."


Something wrong with this thinking....As an Eagle Scout and a 53 year old grandpa...I will stand by reason until otherwise proved wrong...laws of nature are established by God...what He does with them is out of my control. How we abuse them are up to us. Let it be known that electrostatic breakdown was NOT invented by mankind...nor the terrorist...the event is indeed an action of God....and for good reasons...
38 posted on 07/29/2005 7:19:27 PM PDT by Hotdog
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To: blueberry12
"God must be sending a message."

I knew somebody would say that!

Embarressing and Sad isn't it?

39 posted on 07/29/2005 7:20:31 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
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To: SunnyUsa
You talk a lot, but you can't answer a simple question.

Where does lightning come from?

40 posted on 07/29/2005 7:21:20 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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