Fort A.P. Hill, VA Boy Scout Killed In Accident, Jul 1995


Fort A.P. Hill, Va. - AP - A Pennsylvania Boy Scout who was killed when a Humvee he was driving overturned at the National Scout Jamboree did not have Army clearance to drive the transport vehicle, officials said.
ROBERT COMBES, 16, a Jamboree staff member from Finleyville, Pa., was driving the wide-bodied vehicle when it ran off a bumpy gravel road and flipped in a ditch around 8:15 p.m. Monday, state police Sgt. Tony Lippa said.
"It appears that they might have been going a little too fast for the road condition, because of the bumps," Lipps told the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. "He probably didn't realize it until he got into it."
COMBES had a Pennsylvania learner's permit, but not a driver's license.
Three 18-year-old passengers were in the Humvee, and one was hospitalized, Lippa said. All four were Jamboree staff members.
The Army allowed Jamboree staff members to drive Humvees to carry supplies on the post where the event was held, but only if they were 18 or older and had passed an Army training course. Senior Scouts serve as staff members during the quadrennial nationwide Boy Scout gathering.
Scout officials did not know why the boy was driving or how fast he was going, said Greg Shields, a Boy Scouts of America spokesman.
But Lippa said COMBES apparently talked the three other Scouts into giving him a turn behind the wheel.
"The boy just wanted to drive and he asked the others," Lippa said.
DAVID LIPSOM of Moon Township, Pa., was in good condition Tuesday at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg with a broken collar bone and a concussion.
NATHANIEL SEARIS, of Sioux City, Iowa, was treated for minor injuries and released. DAVID LUNDSTROM, of Rockford, Ill., was not injured but was kept briefly at the hospital for observation.
The Humvee gained fame during the Persian Gulf War as a larger successor to the jeep, the Army's all-purpose small vehicle since World War II. It is wider and heavier than a jeep.
The 30,000 Scouts who ended a week camping on the Army post Tuesday were packing to return home, some of them eagerly.
"We're happy as sin to go," said Jeff Carroll, 17, of Easton, Mass.
"I had a great time, but the bathrooms stink and so does the food."
"I'd like to stay," said Josh Odom, 14, of Lawrenceville, Ga. "Trading patches is fun."

Indiana Gazette Pennsylvania 1995-07-31