Boy Scout accident was preventable

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, August 01, 2005

Somehow when accidental death is involved, we humans commonly think of any questioning of the event as being insensitive and disrespectful. And yet when we don't face the truth of how it happened, we are sowing the seeds of a similar event.

Like everyone else I grieve the loss of the four Boy Scout leaders and the fact that many youngsters may be emotionally scarred for life. However, we need to recognize the fact that the accident was preventable and totally unnecessary. The men died because of their own ignorance and stupidity. By the time one is 30 years old, how often do you suppose everyone has been warned of hazards from above? And no. I'm not referring to "Acts of God." This was totally preventable.

To poke at another sore: I feel the same thing holds true in the death of Ben Blackgoat, the 17 year old runner who died on the Perseverance Trail a few years ago. Tragic. However, we would serve our youngsters much better if we would publicize the circumstances. The trail that day was closed because of hazardous conditions. It was the hubris of the young man that led him to flaut the caution that was advised. Youngsters today who don't know that may be led to emulate his actions. Another unnecessary tragedy.

Elva Bontrager

Juneau



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