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Portland student, 14, dies on camping trip

by: KOIN NEWS 6 - Students at Mt. Tabor Middle School are receiving counselling following the death of a classmate.A teenager died when he slipped off a loaded two-axle trailer and was run over by the trailer tires just north of Lincoln City.

Cruz Miller, 14, a student at Mt. Tabor Middle School, was with campers who were moving gear along and across the Salmon River shortly before 11 a.m. Monday, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Witnesses told deputies the boy tried to climb onto the moving trailer, but slipped and was run over. Witnesses provided medical help until the emergency responders arrived, who then rushed the teen to a Lincoln City hospital.

He died shortly after, officials said.

Oya No Kai Spokesperson Jerry Spokes confirmed that Miller was at the camp with Oya No Kai, which supports the Portland Public School’s Japanese Dual Langauage Program.

Spokes also issued the following statement on behalf of the organization regarding Monday’s accident:

“Oya No Kai and the Japanese Immersion Program is shocked and heartbroken to learn of today’s tragic accident at Camp Westwind. We will do everything we can to support the dear family, friends and community members who are forever touched by this great loss.”

Robi Osborn, the principal at Mount Tabor Middle School, said in a statement on their website, “I am deeply saddened to share the tragic news that a Mt. Tabor student, Cruz Miller, died in an accident this morning…. Our thoughts are with all of the families on the trip, and our deepest sympathies are with the Miller family.”

“It’s so sad. We’ve got a bunch of kids that are just filled with tears,” said Portland Public Schools spokesperson Christine Miles.

Many students just found out when they arrived at school, she said. “I think that’s why it’s so hard for the kids today, to really comprehend what happened because they lost a friend.”

The school’s crisis team is on hand as well as counselors and safe rooms.

“It’s a room with a counselor, staff and kids who if at any time of the day they feel emotional or they have questions, they feel like they need a place to cry, they can go there, no questions asked,” Miles said.

Westwind Stewardship Group (WSG) also confirmed the accident in a written statement, which read in part, “WSG is deeply saddened by the tragedy at Westwind today that took the life of a 14-year-old boy. We extend our profound sorrow and concern for his family, friends and the Oya No Kai community.”

WSG said Lincoln County Sheriff deputies determined the incident was accidental and no criminal charges are likely.