Lightning Strike Kills Two in Scout Troop
By JULIANA BARBASSA
Lightning struck a group of Boy Scouts taking shelter from a summer storm, killing the troop leader and a 13-year-old scout, according to a ranger and the boy's parents.
At least one of the injured was kept alive only because the troop managed to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation for an hour after Thursday's strike in Sequoia National Park, 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, 13, died Friday morning, according to his parents, Sue and Peter Collins. "We just lost our son," said Sue Collins 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 at about 4 p.m. Thursday, 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. The man was killed instantly, Picavet said.