Lightning kills 12-year-old Scout at Scofield Reservoir, another scout drowns in Bear Lake

Published: Thursday, July 14 2011 12:33 a.m. MDT

Scofield Boy Scout Camp at Frandsen Scout Reservation on the Scofield Reservoir is where lighting struck two boys, killing one and injuring the other on Wednesday.

Mike Terry, Deseret News

SCOFIELD RESERVOIR — A pair of 12-year-old Boy Scouts were killed in separate accidents Wednesday — one dying after being struck by lightning and the other drowning in Bear Lake.

The first Scout was killed, with a second boy injured, when a fast-moving hailstorm rolled through northern Carbon County about 10:30 a.m.

Members of the Scout troop from the Granite Park LDS Stake in South Salt Lake scrambled for cover when the hailstorm moved in, said John Gailey, program director for the Utah National Parks Council.

"These two boys were headed for their campsite. The one was struck directly," Gailey said.

Leaders and other Scouts saw the lightning hit the boy. Paramedics and Life Flight were called, and CPR was performed on the boy. Medical personnel pronounced the boy dead about 12:35 p.m., he said.

Leaders didn't know that the second Scout had been struck by lightning until about 45 minutes later, Gailey said.

"He said he wasn't feeling well and went and laid down," he said. "He had some burns and was taken to the hospital."

Scofield Scout Camp is situated near the north end of Scofield Reservoir and typically has about 350 Scouts in attendance this week, plus 75 adult leaders and camp staff, Gailey said. Scouts sleep in tents and participate in aquatics programs — most of which are out in the open.

Scout leaders are required to take a hazardous weather training course every two years, Gailey said.

"When any storms like this pop up, the aquatics area is immediately cleared," he said.

The storm prompted camp staff to activate an emergency evacuation plan.

"A second storm rolled in later this morning and they had to execute that same evacuation procedure again," Gailey said, adding that the medical helicopter's departure from the camp was delayed by the later storm.

According to the National Weather Service, there were two lightning-related injuries in Utah in 2010. The last lightning-related death occurred in 2007.

The second accident occurred at Bear Lake when a Las Vegas boy who was staying at the Bear Lake Aquatics Base drowned.

Officials say the boy was scuba diving around noon on the east side of the lake, north of Laketown, when he became separated from his group. He was pulled from the water at about 12:35 p.m.

Utah State Parks spokeswoman Deena Loyolla said the boy was recovered from the lake by Rich County sheriff's deputies and transported to a hospital in Logan, where he was pronounced dead.

Contributing: Benjamin Wood

Email: sfidel@desnews.com, Twitter: SteveFidel

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