Gilbert Boy Scout dies in zip line accident

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – A Gilbert teen is dead after an accident involving a zip line.

It happened Saturday morning in the Forest Lakes area. A spokesman for the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said 15-year-old Antonio (Tony) Flores was participating in a Boy Scout troop activity at a private residence at the time of the accident.

The nine boys and two adults were part of Boy Scout Troop 737 out of Queen Creek. They were going to do some zip lining, sledding and go on a compass course.

The adults went inside to get the braking equipment for the zip line.

Larry Abbott, CEO of Boy Scouts of America's Grand Canyon Council, told 3TV on the phone Monday night that one of the boys got on the zip line before the safety equipment was installed.

"I guess four of the boys decided they were going to hop on the zip line while the adults were in getting the equipment and the bungees are part of that braking system at the end," Abbott said. "And so the first boy who went down struck a tree at the end of the zip line because that braking system was not on it. At that point, another adult ran inside and got the other adults that were getting the equipment and they came out and administered CPR and then called 911 right away."

Tony was transported to Payson Medical Center where he died from head injuries.

Abbott said this was a situation where two or three things went wrong and tragedy happened.

"Just a real tragedy. We want to be there for the family and for the kids in the unit and we're going to offer anything they need as far as assistance," Abbott said. "But our hearts go out -- especially to the family right now -- and to the other boys who are probably not in a real good place right now."

Tony was the son of Detective Esteban Flores of the Mesa Police Department. Flores has been a key witness in the Jodi Arias murder trial.

Coconino County sheriff's detectives and the Gila County medical examiner will continue the investigation. At this point in the investigation, foul play is not suspected.