Man killed when struck in the face by homemade rocket at Scouting event


A Boy Scout official was killed when he was struck in the face by a homemade rocket Saturday during the Boy Scouts of America’s annual Rocket Rave event, authorities said.

Michael Bentley, 50, of Highland was watching a friend launch a homemade rocket at 12:09 p.m. at the Giant Rock off-highway vehicle area in Johnson Valley when he lost sight of its trajectory, said Sgt. Michael Landavazo of the San Bernardino Couny Sheriff’s Department.

The rocket came down and struck Bentley’s face as he gazed into the sky.

“Spectators to the incident began to panic and started calling 911,” Landavazo said in a statement.


Two off-duty sheriff’s deputies were in the area and quickly responded to provide aid to Bentley.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter transported Bentley to an area hospital, where he was taken into surgery and died.

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Bentley had been active in the Boy Scouts for most of his life and at one point served as a chairman for the California Inland Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Press Enterprise reported.

Commercially made and homemade hobby model rockets were launched at the Boy Scouts event, sheriff’s officials said.

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