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Boy Scout Dies After Lightning Strike

Sequoia National Park, CA — A lightning strike that took the life of a Boy Scout leader in Sequoia National Park has also claimed the life of a 13-year-old boy from Sonoma County.

A spokeswoman at University Medical Center says Ryan Collins died Friday night. The boy´s grandfather, Bill Collins, said the boy had been kept on a ventilator for a time so that his organs could be donated.

Coroner´s officials say the troop´s assistant scoutmaster, 29-year-old Steve McCullagh, was killed instantly when the bolt struck about 4 pm Thursday. One other injured troop member was being kept for observation at the Fresno hospital, and six were treated and released from a hospital in Visalia.

Park officials say there was little the Boy Scout troop could have done to protect themselves from the lightning strike. The two were part of a Scout group from Saint Helena.

It had been on a nine-day backcountry hike along the John Muir Trail when a lightning bolt made a direct strike on a tarp they had set up in a meadow.