WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Family Reaction to Boy Scout Accident

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

July 27, 2005

As the Boy Scout Jamboree continues at Fort AP Hill in Virginia, family members of the victims from Monday's horrible accident that claimed the lives of four Boy Scout leaders are trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

Authorities continue their investigation into the electrocution that killed 49-year-old Michael Shibe, 42-year-old Mike Lacroix and 58-year-old Ronald Bitzer. Although officials were told their tent pole struck a power line, they are still not sure what went horribly wrong.

"It's a deep loss for the community. Michael's volunteerism and that of his entire family is legendary," said Regan Pfleiger, a former troop member of Mike Shibe's.

Three of the four men were from Anchorage, Alaska and represented Troop 711. While some families have spoken to the press, some are counting on a spokesperson to express their emotions.

"They asked me to say thank you to all who are praying for them, all that offered their help and condolences. They are working hard to figure out what to do next, and as you can understand they are unsure as to what the future holds," said Pastor Scott Fuller, the Blizer's Family Pastor.

"We are devastated by our loss but we have great comfort in the knowledge that we are an eternal family and we will be together again. Michael died doing something he loved," said Kevin Thomas, a LaCroix family spokesman.

What they loved was making a difference.

"He saw that changes that it made in boys lives and how it helped them to set goals and to attain them and to be able to reach a little further that possibly they would have," said Carol Lacroix, Mike Lacroix's widow.

A memorial service was held today to honor the boy scout leaders.


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