Northeast Tarrant

Heatstroke caused death of Keller Central student on hike

Last week, the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch flags were flying half staff for Reid Comita who collapsed and died while on a Boy Scouts backpacking trip. Comita’s backpack was propped up against one of the flag poles.
Last week, the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch flags were flying half staff for Reid Comita who collapsed and died while on a Boy Scouts backpacking trip. Comita’s backpack was propped up against one of the flag poles. Courtesy

A Keller Central High School student on a Boy Scout backpacking trip in West Texas died last week from heatstroke, according to a ruling by the El Paso County medical examiner’s office.

Reid Comita, 15, collapsed while on the hike June 12 at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch and later died on a trail in the area of the Davis Mountains, authorities said.

The ranch is near Balmorhea, a small town north of Big Bend National Park.

Deputies at the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Davis received the ruling Friday.

Temperatures on the afternoon of June 12 hovered in the upper 90s and the heat index was over 100 degrees, authorities told the Star-Telegram last week.

An emergency call had gone out to the Sheriff’s Office shortly after 4 p.m.

Comita was with other Boy Scouts when he succumbed to the heat.

Authorities said it took some time to reach Comita because the Boy Scouts had been on the hike for a few hours and they could not be reached by ambulance or trucks.

The teen’s father, John Comita Jr., wrote on Facebook that paramedics and guides performed CPR on his son for more than an hour, but Reid Comita died about 6:30 p.m. June 12.

Comita was a member of the Central men’s chorus and show choir as a ninth-grader during the 2016-17 school year.

He also was a member of the Okai Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America: Order of the Arrow.

Comita’s family noted in his obituary thta he was getting ready to take driving lessons, loved the color orange, cheese pizza, Chick-fil-A and Lily the family dog.

The teen was working on his last mandatory merit badge, the camping merit badge, when he died while on the hike, his family said.

His Eagle Scout project was to build a playhouse and landscape the area for The Gatehouse, a home for women and children in crisis, in Grapevine.

That project will be completed in Comita’s honor by several members of the North Texas scouting community and friends.

Donations can be made to benefit Boy Scout Troop 336 or the Voices of Central show choir in Comita’s memory.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Lucas Funeral Home, 1601 S. Main St., in Keller.

A funeral Mass is at 1 p.m. Wednesday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2016 Willis Lane, in Keller.

“I miss you, my beloved son,” his father wrote on Facebook. “Always and forever until we meet again.”

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr

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