Saanich school grapples with death of 13-year-old

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 ALSO: 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

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Custom House construction site in Victoria

Government Street remains closed as investigation continues

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site at Duke Point

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

First storm of the season expected to hit Vancouver Island tonight

Environment Canada has issued a storm warning with wind, and rain that could last into the weekend

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley seeks reelection

Routley has served as MLA for the area since 2005.

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

B.C. ELECTION: Island MLA Adam Olsen says NDP is sacrificing health for politics

Olsen acknowledges situation of a snap election is not ideal for BC Greens,

Babchuk nominated as NDP candidate

Seeks to replace outgoing MLA Claire Trevena

Most Read