B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

Less than 24 hours after the death of a 13-year-old boy attending Lansdowne Middle School, the focus lies on supporting the affected family, and helping the larger school community in any way possible, says the superintendent of School District 61.

“It’s an incredibly tragic event,” said Shelley Green. “We certainly extend our condolences to the family, and [we] want to let them know that our hearts are with them.”

RELATED: Victoria teen killed on field trip near Sooke

The 13-year-old Grade 8 student died Wednesday afternoon at the scene of a field trip to Camp Barnard near Sooke after a tree struck and pinned him. The teen received CPR on scene, but later succumbed to his injuries. A second Grade 8 student from the school is now recovering at home after receiving treatment for non-life threatening injuries at an area hospital.

The parents of both students have chosen to withhold their respective names, said Green. The parents of the deceased have also chosen to withhold any information about whether he had siblings.

The two students were part of a larger field trip group from Lansdowne Middle School scheduled to remain at the camp for three days. All remaining students have since returned home.

It is officially not clear what caused the tree to strike and pin the boy. Winds gusts of up to 80 km/h blew through the area with its rough terrain, which took responders – aided by students – some time to reach.

Green said the incident remains raw, but added that the school would launch a full investigation to find out what happened. With one week left in the school year, the focus is on supporting the family and the school community at large, said Green, adding that surrounding school districts have already reached out with offers of help and support.

READ MORE: BC Coroners Service in early stages of investigation into death of Saanich student

The school district’s Critical Incident Response Team has been deployed since Wednesdays afternoon to support students, staff and families, said Green. The school itself will also have counsellors available for any students and staff, who may need or want help or any type of assistance, she said in a letter posted on the school’s site and its Facebook page, where individuals have been sharing condolences.

“So terribly tragic,” wrote Lara Forbes. “As a parent of a middle schooler whose husband also teaches middle school I just cannot imagine the trauma for the family and also teachers and students. Such a terrible fluke disaster at a camp my kids have attended quite often.”

“So sad,” said Courtenay Leah. “My [Grade 8] is having a graduation Friday, so heartbreaking some family won’t be celebrating.”

The president of the school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) declined official comment.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway for one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province.

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Nelson’s net-zero ready house is a glimpse into B.C.’s future

One local builder set out to construct the province’s ideal energy efficient home

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Most Read