The grieving parents of 15-year-old Reid Comita say he died after going on a hike the Boy Scouts should never have sent him on. The Texas teenager died from heat stroke in June while on an "Intro to Backpacking" course that would have been his final task to become an Eagle Scout. "The Boy Scouts of America are responsible for my son's death. It's that simple," father John Comita tells WFAA. Reid's parents are suing Boy Scouts of America, accusing them of being negligent by sending the boy on an "extremely aggressive hike" through rugged terrain in southwest Texas on a day when temperatures were around 100 degrees. "He wasn't an athlete. He wasn't prepared to go on an advanced hike," the father says.
John Comita says the family signed Reid up for the course—which was supposed to include two days of training followed by a three-day hike—because they thought it was the safest option, but he was immediately sent on the hike, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawsuit also faults the Boy Scouts for sending Reid on a hike with two other teenagers, a 14-year-old and an 18-year-old, instead of the two adults that regulations require. Boy Scouts of America, which awarded Reid the rank of Eagle Scout after his death, declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the "health and safety of our youth members is of paramount importance," the Washington Post reports. (This woman got sick on a hike and was dead 9 hours later.)