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Falling tree kills teen at Scout camp
Severe thunderstorm passes through area Monday afternoon
Scout Camp
A Newton County sheriff's deputy keeps watch outside the Bert Adams Scout Reservation near Covington, Ga., on Tuesday morning, June 26, 2018. The deputy was checking the credentials of all people who tried to enter the camp facility one day after the death of a teenager. - photo by David Clemons

COVINGTON, Ga. — A tree felled during a thunderstorm claimed the life of a child at Scout camp.

Coroner Tommy Davis said a 14-year-old from Cypress, Texas, died Monday at Bert Adams Scout Reservation.

The coroner’s office revealed the name of the child Monday night to The Covington News, but later in the evening asked the newspaper to remove the child’s name from a article pending further notification of relatives.

An autopsy must be performed to confirm the cause of death, Davis said.

Investigator Jeff Alexander of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office told television station WSB a tree fell on a tent offering shelter to two campers.

“A tree did unfortunately fall on one of the campers and the camper is deceased,” Alexander said. “There was severe blunt force trauma to his head and chest.”

Attempts by The News to reach Alexander were not successful.

Southeastern Newton and northern Jasper counties were under a severe thunderstorm warning from 3:58 until 4:30 p.m. Monday. The National Weather Service warned of 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail.

In a statement, Scout executive Tracy Techau, CEO of the Atlanta Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, said the death was a “very difficult time for our Scouting family.”

“We are sad to confirm the death of one of our Scouts following a weather-related incident at Bert Adams Scout Camp,” Techau said. “We offer our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping all those affected in your thoughts and prayers.”

Scouting officials said the organization is working closely with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and the child’s family. Relatives of the boy were expected to be in Covington as soon as Tuesday.

The Bert Adams Scout Camp dates to 1928, when it was founded in Vinings. It moved to Newton County in 1960 and is situated on more than 1,300 acres.

The camp offers archery, horseback riding, swimming, riflery, camping, a ropes course and more to Scouts and other guests.

Monday’s calendar included the fourth week of Scout Summer Camp, billed as a time of aquatics, shooting sports, crafts, outdoor skills, cultural studies, nature and ecology.