Hallsville community mourns teen Boy Scouts at vigil
Aug. 6, 2017 at 10:20 p.m.
Updated Aug. 6, 2017 at 2:24 p.m.
UPDATE: A third Boy Scout — 11-year-old Thomas Larry — has died from injuries suffered when a sailboat struck an overhanging power line at Lake O' the Pines.
HALLSVILLE — An impromptu crowd topping 300 gathered to mourn Sunday night for two fallen teens from Hallsville and a younger classmate listed in critical condition after a boating accident during a Boy Scout campout on Saturday.
Will Brannon, 17, and Heath Faucheux, 16, were sailing a catamaran about 1 p.m. Saturday on Lake O' the Pines when the topsail either struck a power line or arced with it, electrocuting both.
Their 11-year-old companion and fellow Boy Scout, Thomas Larry, was listed Sunday in critical condition in a Shreveport hospital.
"You're talking about great young men, men of integrity," Hallsville Band Director Sherri Morgan told the crowd that was equal parts Bobcat band family and Boy Scouts from two counties. "We're heart-broken, we're devastated. ... All is not lost, they leave a legacy. So, they are going to live on forever."
All three of the young men are Hallsville band members. The elder two achieved Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scout Troop 620.
Morgan relayed the grieving families' gratitude to the gathering.
"Thank you for all your prayers and all you're doing on their behalf," she said.
Brannon is the son of Troop 620 Scoutmaster Stan Brannon. Faucheux's father, Dion, is the troop's assistant Scoutmaster.
"Around this community, we all know these boys through Cub Scout activities, through Boy Scout activities," Lorelei Wiley, wife of Troop 201 Scoutmaster Doug Wiley, said shortly before the candlelight vigil in Hallsville City Park. "The Scout community came out, because we've known these kids. We watched them grow up ."
Daniel Anderson, chief operating officer for the East Texas Boy Scouts of America, said Sunday the boys were at a troop campout at a private residence near Alley Creek on the lake's north shore.
"And the boys had taken out a catamaran, and the mast came in contact with a power line," Anderson said.
Thomas was taken to LSU Medical Center in Shreveport where he remained Sunday night.
"He's in critical condition," Anderson said. "So, we're getting regular updates on that."
According to a statement from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the catamaran was on fire, with sails up, when game wardens arrived.
According to the statement, the younger Scout was found unresponsive "in a boat nearby" the catamaran and was given CPR by "good Samaritans."
The parks department said game wardens arriving shortly before 2 p.m. found the oldest Scout onboard and the 16-year-old in water nearby.
The parks department said all three boys had been wearing flotation devices.