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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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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
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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.)
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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!)
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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!)
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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.)
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To: Pharmboy

SAD!!!!


6 posted on 07/29/2005 6:21:18 PM PDT by Boazo (From the mind of BOAZO)
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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)
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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!)
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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 ()
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To: Pharmboy
God must be sending a message.
10 posted on 07/29/2005 6:32:59 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Pharmboy

Pine trees don't have metal in them.


11 posted on 07/29/2005 6:36:36 PM PDT by Blessed
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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.)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.)
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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.)
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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
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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.)
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