Lightning in Sequoia National Park kills leader, injures seven on Boy Scout outing | VailDaily.com
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Lightning in Sequoia National Park kills leader, injures seven on Boy Scout outing

FRESNO, Calif. – Lightning struck a group of Boy Scouts taking shelter from a storm, killing the troop leader and leaving a 13-year-old scout brain-dead, authorities and the teen’s grandfather said Friday. Seven others were injured.Ryan Collins, 13, was was being kept on a ventilator so that his organs could be donated, said the grandfather. “He would never recover or anything else,” Bill Collins said.Collins said his grandson was a scout for three or four years and loved the outdoors.”He was a fabulous boy. He was doing what he loved to do,” Bill Collins said. “It’s just a tremendous shock to everybody.”The strike happened Thursday in Sequoia National Park, and at least one of the injured was kept alive only because the troop managed to administer CPR for an hour, park ranger Alex Picavet said Friday.”That’s amazing,” she said. “It’s very difficult. It’s probably because of their Boy Scout training.”The deaths come just days after four men were electrocuted while putting up a tent at the National Scout Jamboree in Virginia.Ryan Collins was listed in critical condition at the University Medical Center in Fresno, but his family appeared to have given up hope Friday.”We just lost our son,” mother Sue Collins said after rushing to the hospital in Fresno where some of the scouts were airlifted.The assistant scoutmaster, Steve McCullagh, 29, was killed instantly when the bolt struck Thursday afternoon, the Tulare County coroner’s office said.”He didn’t even make it off the mountain,” Sue Collins said, crying along with her husband and younger son at the hospital. “It’s horrible. It’s a fluke.”The scout group from St. Helena, which Picavet said included five adults and seven teenage scouts, was hit when a lightning bolt made a direct strike on one of the two tarps they had set up in a meadow.Two teenagers ran 25 minutes to a ranger station, and five helicopters flew in to evacuate the group.Vail, Colorado


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