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PICACHO, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A 16-year-old Boy Scout died while he was hiking with his troop at the Picacho Peak State Park on Saturday. 

The boy was identified as Josh Michael White, according to a fellow student and Boy Scout.

He was an active member of Boy Scout Troop 99 and was from Goodyear.

[WATCH: Teen's death during hike in Pinal County leading to changes at Boy Scouts]

White volunteered at Summit Community Church and was a member of the junior varsity football team at Estrella Foothills High School.

"I never saw him not put 100 percent into what he did.  He always took that first step and always made his mark," said J.P. Hassman, a classmate of White's.

During Saturday's hike, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said the boy reportedly had water with him, but ran out sometime during the hike. 

Officials say White began to exhibit signs of extreme dehydration on the way down.

Another member of the group called 911. The park ranger found White unconscious on the trail. 

The Avra Valley Fire Department responded to the scene and the teen was pronounced dead.

It is unclear if the death is a result of a medical issue or dehydration. 

The Estrella Foothills High School sent out a letter to the students on Sunday that said the following:

It is with heavy heart that we let you know that we lost a student to a hiking accident on (Saturday). CPR was performed, but the student was not able to be revived. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. With respect for the student and the family's privacy rights, we cannot release any further information on the situation. We want you to know that we will have counselors on hand when students return to school tomorrow to assist any students who may need to talk about it. We also want to make you aware of a few community resources that are available if a student is struggling with grief outside of school hours:

Stepping Stones of Hope Grief Support: 602-264-7520

Andy Price, Scout executive and CEO of the Grand Canyon Council with the Boy Scouts of America released the following statement:

“This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family. We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our youth members. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family, and we will support them in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping his family and friends everywhere in your thoughts and prayers.

We are mindful of the impact this incident may have on Scouts and volunteers, and grief counselors are standing by to care for our youth members and adult leaders.”

Stay with Arizona's Family for updates on this story. 

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(10) comments

Wecareaboutpeople

Just saying... the media does not always have all the facts. Please repect the family for the loss of a child.

WinsbergInAz

There are too many questions that need to be answered before the death can be blamed solely on anyone. Seems to be a lot the people so quick to be judge, jury and executioner.

Arielschecklist

You're right of course. Almost always, however, when you find out the details, it's even more horrific than you could have imagined. There are very few exceptions, if any, when it comes to dehydration and exertional heat stroke on an organized hike. These deaths are always preventable if the proper protocols and preventive care were taken. When they are not, it is criminal negligent homicide.

Arielschecklist

This was a clear case of negligent homicide, completely preventable. Reid Comita was similarly negligently killed on a Boy Scout hike in Texas in June 2017. No one was ever held accountable. BSA needs to be punished most severely and all hiking in the heat must cease until they formally and publicly adopt Ariel’s Checklist as the mandatory heat-safety standard on all hikes. See arielschecklist.com

Arielschecklist

This was a clear case of negligent homicide, completely preventable. Reid Comita was similarly negligently killed on a Boy Scout hike in Texas in June 2017. No one was ever held accountable. BSA needs to be punished most severely and all hiking in the heat must cease until they formally and publicly adopt Ariel’s Checklist as the mandatory heat-safety standard on all hikes. See arielschecklist.com

armadillo

Why didn't anyone offer him water when he ran out?

Dean

They may not have known he ran out. Since he seemed to be such a go-getter he may have not told anyone.

Dean

A 16 year old boy scout should be quite experienced with hiking and camping. By the time scouts are this age they are taking on leadership roles and assisting scoutmasters. Something is really strange here.

Qiyamata

Let’s see if there’s more to the story. Some Scoutmasters fancy themselves drill seargents and try to “toughen up” the weaker of the bunch. I have seen it firsthand.

Dean

If any scoutmaster attempted that in my area they would not only have been kicked out of the scouts but had charges filed against them.

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