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13-Year-Old Inner City Boy Dies After Being Scared By NH Bear

August 4 2004 at 10:12 PM
roger  (Login dipper)

Response to August 2004 Accidents/Rescues


A 13-year-old boy attending a camp for underprivileged children collapsed and died after being scared by a bear on a hike, authorities said Wednesday.

Antonio Hansell of Boston and a counselor from Camp Hale came across the bear twice Tuesday afternoon on Mount Doublehead, the state Fish and Game Department said. Officials said the two ran from the first encounter, and ran again after seeing the bear again while trying to retrieve Antonio's lost sneaker. The bear did not chase them.

When word reached Fish and Game Sgt. James Goss that Antonio was scared and did not want to continue hiking, Goss spoke to him by cell phone and judged that he was having trouble breathing.

Goss organized a rescue, which included camp staffers and fire and rescue personnel from Sandwich and Holderness. But the boy collapsed and was not breathing and had no pulse when rescuers reached him about two hours later, a half-mile from the trailhead, the department said in a statement.

Rescuers tried to resuscitate him at the scene, while he was being carried off the mountain and during an ambulance ride to Plymouth. He was pronounced dead at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth.

An autopsy was being conducted Wednesday. Goss said he did not believe the boy had any medical problems.

Camp Hale is for low-income children from the Boston area.

New Hampshire has 3,500 to 4,000 black bears, which naturally fear people and avoid them.
``We've run Camp Hale for 104 years,'' McCumber said. ``We've never had an incident.''

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