A teenage boy from Lansdowne Middle School is dead after a tree fell on him near a wilderness camp outside of Sooke Wednesday.
Sooke Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Matt Barney confirmed the death Wednesday afternoon. Later in the evening, The Greater Victoria School District sent out a letter to parents and guardians, informing them that a student from Lansdowne Middle School “died suddenly on a school field trip.”
Emergency services say one other person was taken to hospital in critical condition.
Otter Point Fire Rescue, BC Ambulance and RCMP were called to an area near Camp Barnard, close to the Jack Brooks Hatchery, at around 3:17 p.m. for a report of a person trapped beneath a tree. At the time, Otter Point firefighters were assisting Sooke Fire Rescue with putting out a small wildfire near Cedar Park Place and Henlyn Drive.
An official at Lansdowne Middle School called the incident a “freak accident” involving several students on a field trip.
According to the school, several boys were injured in an accident in the forest and families were being contacted. All the students on the trip were scheduled to be picked up at 7 p.m. from the camp and being taken to Lansdowne Middle School on Lansdowne Road in Victoria.
Parents are also reporting Shoreline Middle School students from View Royal have been sent home from the camp, which is located near Young Lake.
BC Ambulance has confirmed paramedics were at the scene in the afternoon and one air ambulance landed in a field at Camp Barnard. However, the person who was injured when the tree fell was taken to the hospital by ground ambulance. The person is in critical but stable condition with serious injuries.
The BC Coroners Service was called to the scene after the accident. The name of the teenage boy who died has not been released.
The Greater Victoria School District said a Critical Incident Response Team will be available to support students, staff and families. Counsellors will also be available for students and staff at Lansdowne Middle School.
Winds were reportedly around 50 km/h in the Sooke area Wednesday afternoon. Camp Barnard, a 250-acre camp used year-round by organizations, is located in Otter Point, west of Sooke. It has been operating for around 70 years.