A community remains in shock and mourning after two boy scouts died and a third is still fighting for his life from a boating accident on Lake o' the Pines August 5.
The three boys, ages 17, 16, and 11 were on a Hobiecat Catamaran when investigators believe it collided with an overhead transmission power line and the boys were electrocuted as a result of that collision.
The 17-year-old and 16-year-old died in the accident. A third victim, 11-year-old Thomas Larry was found unresponsive in a boat nearby and was given CPR by a few good Samaritans. He was taken to a Shreveport hospital where he remains in critical condition.
One of Larry's fifth grade teachers, Katy Williams, was at the candlelight vigil held Sunday night and said teaching Larry was a delight.
"Thomas was one of those students that you really want in your class. He’s smart. He’s well behaved. He’s respectful and he just has the perfect amount of goofy-ness that he brings to the table," Williams said.
A gofundme account has been set up to help the family with expenses. According to the website, Thomas is on life support at LSU in Shreveport and has no brain function at this time.
The East Texas Area Council Boy Scout Executive & CEO Dewayne Stephens issued the following statement Monday:
This is an extremely difficult time for our Scouting family. We are very sad to confirm the deaths of two youth participants following a boating incident. A third youth has been airlifted to an area hospital after sustaining injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families. We will support them in any way that we can.
“I would like to thank the emergency teams who responded and assisted our Scouts and volunteers throughout this incident.
The 17-year-old was an Eagle Scout, according to East Texas Area Council Boy Scout Assistant Scout Executive Daniel Anderson.
The accident is being investigated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s statewide boating accident reconstruction and mapping team. The identities of the two boys who died have not yet been released.
Rob Walker, Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative General Manager issued this statement:
We are aware of an accident that occurred on Saturday that involved a number of our local Boy Scouts. Our heartfelt prayers go out for all of the Scouts, their families, and for the community. We are working to determine what happened, and we are gathering facts as they become available. We are cooperating in the investigation and will assist in the process as it goes forward. As a community together, we continue to pray and stand by to assist as needed.
All three scouts were wearing life jackets at the time of the incident.
This story is includes an age correction. One of the boys who died was 17 years old, not 18, as previously reported.