Boy Scout Troop's Hike Ends in Tragedy

Mom of one of the Scouts is killed by falling tree in California's Rancho San Antonio County Park
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2023 6:25 AM CST
Mom of Boy Scout Dies After Tree Comes Down During Hike
Stock photo of a trail in Rancho San Antonio County Park.   (Getty Images/Sundry Photography)

A Boy Scout troop's hike turned tragic over the weekend after a falling tree killed the mom of one of its members. Per NBC Bay Area and KPIX, the group from Sunnyvale was trekking through Rancho San Antonio County Park in Cupertino at around 10am on Sunday, in a section known as the PG&E Trail, when the tree came down. A jogger who was in the area and stopped to help describes the scene on the remote trail. "We were trying to see if we could lift the log that was on her body ... to see if she could breathe," the man tells KTVU. "We lifted it ... enough so that there was a clearance. And then we put a rock underneath so that it wasn't touching the body. That was the best we could do."

Witnesses say the mother had "hesitated when the tree was falling to make sure her son was safe," per the news outlet. The woman's 17-year-old son stayed by her side until rescuers arrived on ATVs. "After being extricated, medical aid was rendered but sadly the patient was declared deceased," the Santa Clara County Fire Department posted on Twitter. It appears the muddy grounds in the park may have played a role in the accident.

"This time of year we have a lot of trees that are falling because of ... saturated soils," park ranger Matt Anderson tells KTVU, adding that the area had recently been hit with snow. In a statement, the local Boy Scouts organization said all Scouts on the trip were unhurt, and that they were "saddened" on the mother's death. The park remains open, but that particular trail has been shut down for now during the ongoing investigation, said Anderson. (More Boy Scouts stories.)

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