The parents of 14-year-old scout Elijah Knight are speaking about the falling tree accident that killed their son after filing suit against the Atlanta Boy Scouts.
According to Stephen and Courtney Knight, the adults on the camping trip ignored a weather advisory and failed to direct Elijah to shelter, reports Fox 5.
Authorities say on June 25, 2018, the teen was camping at the Bert Adams Scout Camp near Covington, Georgia, with his scouting group when the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning.
Newton County resident, Ben Robinson, told WSBTV:
“It was a monsoon. It was pretty rough with high winds.”
The wrongful death lawsuit states that the Boy Scouts didn’t “evacuate all campers to a nearby building.” Elijah Knight and his tent mate were left outside in a canvas tent during the storm, “with strong winds, lightning, and hail.”
The boy was killed when a tree came crashing down on his tent.
Elijah’s father Stephen Knight said in a statement:
“Having joined the horrible club of parents who have lost a child, and especially the community of parents whose child died in a scouting event.
We hope to make systemic safety improvements that will preserve and protect the lives of many other children in the future.”
He told AJC:
“This shouldn’t have happened.”
The teen’s death isn’t the first at the campground.
In 1999 a father and his 7-year-old died. In 2107 another teenager died at the same scout camp, reports AJC.
The Atlanta Scouts released a statement following Elijah’s death.
— Nefertiti Jáquez (@nefertitijaquez) June 26, 2018
On behalf of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, executive Tracy Techau offered her deepest condolences to Elijah and his family.
In a statement to FOX 5 Atlanta she wrote:
This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family. We are sad to confirm the death of one of our Scouts following a weather-related incident at Bert Adams Scout Camp … We will support them in any way that we can.
The family is seeking damages for an unspecified amount to cover funeral expenses.
Watch the video below: