Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last
All I can say is sheesh! What tragedies the Scouts are going through these days.
1 posted on 07/29/2005 6:17:21 PM PDT by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

It's been a bad week for the boy scouts.


2 posted on 07/29/2005 6:19:27 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

How could they hit by the lightening with just a tarp? Is there metal attached?


3 posted on 07/29/2005 6:20:04 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (Everything I need to know about Islam I learned on 9-11!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

This has got to have an effect on their recruiting.


4 posted on 07/29/2005 6:20:16 PM PDT by Normal4me (I'm sweating like a muslim wearing a backpack on a London subway!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

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.


5 posted on 07/29/2005 6:20:42 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

SAD!!!!


6 posted on 07/29/2005 6:21:18 PM PDT by Boazo (From the mind of BOAZO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Recovering Ex-hippie

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.


7 posted on 07/29/2005 6:25:39 PM PDT by Pharmboy (There is no positive correlation between the ability to write, act, sing or dance and being right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Recovering Ex-hippie

"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.


8 posted on 07/29/2005 6:26:04 PM PDT by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: bnelson44

"You don't need metal, just be the highest point in the area."

Especially if it was wet.


9 posted on 07/29/2005 6:28:00 PM PDT by DB ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
God must be sending a message.
10 posted on 07/29/2005 6:32:59 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

Pine trees don't have metal in them.


11 posted on 07/29/2005 6:36:36 PM PDT by Blessed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes

What do you mean? What kind of message?


12 posted on 07/29/2005 6:43:04 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes
God must be sending a message.

And what would that be? Be careful in thunderstorms? What the heck are you implying?

13 posted on 07/29/2005 6:44:43 PM PDT by unbalanced but fair
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SunnyUsa
What kind of message?

Where do you think lightning comes from?

14 posted on 07/29/2005 6:45:57 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

It said they put them up in a meadow. They were probably the highest exposed point.


15 posted on 07/29/2005 6:46:16 PM PDT by unbalanced but fair
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

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.

Mrs VS


16 posted on 07/29/2005 6:47:45 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes
What kind of message? nice try on the dodge with another question:

What kind of message? What do you mean? Do you know?

17 posted on 07/29/2005 6:49:20 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King

It's been a bad summer for the Scouts.


18 posted on 07/29/2005 6:50:37 PM PDT by Types_with_Fist (I'm on FReep so often that when I read an article at another site I scroll down for the comments.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes
"Where do you think lightning comes from? "

Lightning is an electrostatic breakdown event. It does not come from God.

19 posted on 07/29/2005 6:51:06 PM PDT by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: spunkets; Doe Eyes
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....

20 posted on 07/29/2005 6:52:34 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

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

[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies | Report Abuse ]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes
I asked you a question first, hon

Answer my question about What the MESSAGE is....

then we'll get to yours

41 posted on 07/29/2005 7:22:21 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
More info in today’s Fresno Bee

The Boy Scout group was in a meadow surrounded by trees when the lightning storm became heavy. They split into two groups and set up two tarps more than 50 feet apart to seek refuge from the storm, Picavet said. Then, a lightning strike made a direct hit on one tarp.

"Everyone under that tarp was affected in some degree," Picavet said.

Using a map of the park, two teenage boys made a 25-minute run to the nearest ranger station and hurried back with the on-duty ranger, Picavet said.

42 posted on 07/29/2005 7:22:48 PM PDT by Plutarch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hotdog
"laws of nature are established by God"

God not invent the laws of nature. God, being real, depends on them for His existence.

"Let it be known that electrostatic breakdown was NOT invented by mankind...the event is indeed an action of God....and for good reasons...

The event is not an action of God, it happens purely, because of the local conditions. Those conditions are not set up by God. In this case it's just weather. There's nothing more to it.

43 posted on 07/29/2005 7:28:09 PM PDT by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
The Bee article states that the strike occurred near Sandy Meadow. Check out the panorama of Sandy Meadow. If they set up the tarp in the meadow, that was a mistake. The trees nearby of nearly equal height would have provided better protection.


44 posted on 07/29/2005 7:32:23 PM PDT by Plutarch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunnyUsa
What do you mean? What kind of message?

Given that God pretty much controls earthly events, he wanted to bring these Boy Scouts to heaven, for reasons I cannot, and do not, need to understand.

45 posted on 07/29/2005 7:34:28 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Hotdog

Creationists and Intelligent Design types usually complain that evolution is based on materialistic understandings of how the natural world works.

One can't have it both ways--either G-d intervenes directly in every event or there are materialistic explanations. Perhaps this was an indication of supernatural power, but more likely it has a material explanation based on science and some bad luck and randomness. If not, then it must be due to an ID's supernatural's design or pre-destination.


46 posted on 07/29/2005 7:37:09 PM PDT by thomaswest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes
" he wanted to bring these Boy Scouts to heaven, for reasons I cannot, and do not, need to understand."

Good for you!!!

That's alot more honest than what you said originally...... "God's sending a message" which had a more ominuous and punishing ring to it...but then you knew that.

47 posted on 07/29/2005 7:39:55 PM PDT by SunnyUsa (No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
The Boy Scout leaders did everything they could to protect the scouts and then they handled the emergency like they were suppose to after it happened. The leaders immediately started CPR and send someone for help. The scout was medaerovaced to University Medical Center, but too much damage was done to his body. His parents are really stepping up to the plate and donating his organs to 7 people.

It is my understand that this has been a had year for people strike by lightening in Sequoia National Park.
48 posted on 07/29/2005 7:41:35 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (Freedom isn't free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes
"Where does lightning come from?"

It's static electricity. To be simple and short just as you wipe electrons free from the rug when you walk and they collect on your shoe and conduct everywhere from your fingertips to your head, the wind does the same. The charge collects in the atmosphere. WInds are greater in storms and the water droplets act as dielectrics collecting and concentrating charges.

When charges are separated, an electric field results. The more charge, or the smaller the distance of separation, the higher the field. Air and moist air can only support a certain field before the air breaks down into a plasma(separate charges) and conducts. The conduction is the lighning bolt. The measure of electric field strength is in volts/unit length.

49 posted on 07/29/2005 7:42:04 PM PDT by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy

I read online that more people die each year in Ga. from lightning than from snake bites. My son wanted to go outside today when it was storming BAD. Lots of thunder and lightning and pouring rain. I printed out the story about the scouts, and the two who died in Ga. after lightning strike. Scary.


50 posted on 07/29/2005 7:46:15 PM PDT by buffyt (America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people. Pres. George Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson