The family of a 15- year- old is suing the Boy Scouts of America for his death on a backpacking trip in June. Reid Comita was pursuing his final merit badge to become an Eagle scout when he collapsed and died of heatstroke in remote west Texas.
Reid Comita had been earning badges in the Boy Scouts since he was in first grade.
He was one merit badge away from the 21 needed to become an Eagle scout. To earn his final merit badge, Reid signed up to complete an introductory backpacking trip at the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch, where his parents expected he would learn outdoor skills for two days before heading out with two adult leaders.
But Reid’s parents say he was unexpectedly moved to a more advanced hiking group and they took off days earlier than planned in 99-degree heat. He later collapsed on the trail.
In their lawsuit, the Comitas say the Scouts went against their own guidelines by sending Reid out with a 14 and 18-year-old instead of the two adults their policy requires. They also say the camp director should have altered their hiking plans in the extreme heat.
The Boy Scouts of America says they can't comment on on-going litigation, but released a statement saying... "the health and safety of our youth members are of paramount importance... We strive to create a safe environment for youth to experience outdoor adventure."
Reid was airlifted from the trail, but his parents say they weren't told their son had died for 4 ½ hours after his death. Three months later, they're still trying to adjust to life without their only son.
The Comitas say they've yet to hear from the national Boy Scout office, but Reid’s own troop has since awarded him the merit badge for camping, posthumously.