KATU is learning more about an accident that killed a 14-year-old Portland boy at a camp near Lincoln City and how camps in Oregon are regulated.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says Cruz Miller, a student at Mt. Tabor Middle School, was run over by a trailer Monday morning on a school-related trip at Camp Westwind.
Deputies say Miller was trying to climb onto a moving trailer loaded with camping gear when he fell and was run over. It happened on the banks of the Salmon River where a ferry was being loaded so students could leave by crossing the water.
Oregon’s Public Health Division regulates what it calls organizational camps. It says Camp Westwind has a clean record, with no previous accidents.
The state does not require camps to have specific camper-to-staff ratios overall, but it does for certain high-risk activities (e.g., lifeguards for campers who are swimming). Camps are required to have a health services program, but no specific numbers of medical personnel are mentioned in the rules. Enforcement of camp regulations is done typically with unannounced inspections.
The American Camp Association, a private organization, released the following statement regarding Camp Westwind:
“The American Camp Association is deeply saddened when we learn of any tragedy that affects the life of a child. We join with Camp Westwind in extending our deepest sympathies and concern for the family members. Camp Westwind is an ACA-accredited camp and has voluntarily undergone a rigorous risk management process and is required by ACA standards to have written emergency procedures in effect for crisis situations.”
Deputies say there were two doctors and a nurse at the camp when the accident happened.
Paramedics took Miller to the hospital, where he later died.