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Motorcyclist killed by tree cut down by boy scouts who were away from group

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Posted at 5:32 PM, Oct 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-13 14:44:08-04

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah — A man from Colorado was killed while driving a motorcycle on State Route 12 in Utah Saturday when he collided with a falling tree that was felled by a group of Boy Scouts, and on Monday more details relating to the crash emerged.

Allen Endicott, Scout Executive with the Trapper Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America, issued a statement Sunday regarding the incident, which police have described as a case of “unfortunate timing.”

The statement provided by Endicott is reproduced in its entirety below:

“According to all available reports, yesterday’s events were a tragic accident. In Scouting we strive to make every effort to provide a safe environment for all that are involved, both Scouts, leaders, and the public.

As a council, our hearts go out to the family of the person who tragically lost his life in this terrible accident. We express our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. We are also mindful of the Scouts, leaders, and families of this troop at this time and the impact yesterday’s events had on them. As a Scouting community we invite everyone to remember all who were involved in their thoughts and prayers.”

The man was identified by officials Sunday as Edgar E. Rickie, 69, of Durango, Colorado.

Joe Dougherty of the Utah Department of Public Safety said the man had no time to react.

“It probably happened in a matter of milliseconds,” Dougherty said. “Literally this man had no option; there was nothing he could do to avoid this tree falling.”

A press release issued Saturday by the Utah Department of Public Safety states the man, “was traveling north on state Route 12 in Garfield County when he crashed into a falling aspen tree. The tree had been felled by a group of Boy Scouts with a permit for cutting down trees for firewood.”

The press release also said the boys had a permit to cut down trees, and that they were under adult supervision.

“At this point we don’t know everything about where they were cutting down the trees,” he told FOX 13 News. “We know that two boys had stepped away from the main group that was cutting trees, and they were the ones that happened to fell this tree.”

The man was wearing a helmet. A passerby called 911, and a doctor who was with the Boy Scout group pronounced the man dead at the scene, according to the press release.

Dougherty said if charges connected to the case are filed, that decision would rest with the county attorney.

“Any kind of charges that could come from this, that’s something that UHP is consulting with the Garfield District Attorney’s Office and the Garfield Attorney is the one to bring charges if that were to happen, but at this point we just don’t know,” he said. “It appears to be a really unfortunate accident.”

No charges have yet been filed.

The crash occurred in an area officials said was about halfway between Boulder, which is in Garfield County, and Torrey,  which is in Wayne County.