Child's death in Olympic National Forest deemed 'tragic accident' by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

BRINNON — The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has determined that the death of a 12-year-old Silverdale boy in Olympic National Forest was an accident caused by youthful play.

“This was a tragic accident, and there were no signs of foul play,” Joe Nole, chief criminal deputy for the Sheriff's Office, said in a Sunday news release.

The name of the boy, killed by a rolling log, had not been released as of Sunday afternoon.

A group of 10 Boy Scouts and four adults began a hike to Lena Lake on Friday for an overnight camp, said Nole.

The boy's father, Richard Thompson, was one of the four adults on the trip, Nole said.

Saturday morning, at 9:20 a.m., JeffCom 911 received a call from the state Department of Emergency Management to notify the Sheriff's Office that a personal locator beacon had been activated at Lena Lake.

Popular spot

Lena Lake is a popular hiking destination in the Brothers Wilderness area of the Olympic National Forest.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Jefferson Search and Rescue responded to the trailhead near Brinnon, where they learned that the scouting group was in the area, Nole said.

A scout leader on the expedition hiked 3 miles from the campsite to the trailhead's parking lot and called 9-1-1.

The boy died at the scene, Nole said.

Nole said the investigation showed that on Saturday morning, four of the scouts went exploring away from camp and found a log more than 2 feet in diameter laying on a sloping boulder field.

“The boys began to roll the log down the slope and into the lake when it became attached to the 12-year-old victim's jacket. The log rolled over the victim and he died at the scene,” Nole said.

He was transported to the trailhead in a wheeled litter by members of Jefferson County Search and Rescue and Mason County Fire and Rescue.

Agencies participating in the incident included Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson Search and Rescue, Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management, Mason County Sheriff's Office, Mason County Fire and Rescue and Olympic Mountain Rescue.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 20. 2014 7:07PM
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