PLEASE NOTE: No one died, the “getting lost” was only in a minor way for a few hours, and there is no lawsuit. Again this is all in keeping with IIT’s position as the unofficial Class of 2022 “fake news”. Talk to JohnJohn about that last quote to get a joke…
Lander, WY – Four of the six surviving members of WCCLE 5 came out this week to sue the OLP over negligence that is alleged to have led to the death of John Paul and William when the eight “Lost Boys” were trapped last August in the Deer Creek Pass canyons.
“The SPOT didn’t work!” says one of them angrily concerning the emergency locator beacon their group was given. “And they knew it didn’t work,” he continues, “but didn’t do anything to fix it before we went out on our own.” When the students became trapped on a rock ledge they used the device repeatedly to signal for help but found out when they ultimately returned to civilization that no message at all had been received.
Andrew Russell attempts to use the spot on COR 2018
In their court filing, the Lost Boys of WCCLE 5 argue that the device not working violated the terms the students agreed to in signing up for the trip, placing them all in mortal danger and causing the deaths of two of their members as well as serious injuries to the rest. “If the emergency SPOT had worked we would have had help before the terrible time when desperation forced us to take chances: chances where the fates failed us and two died.”
John Paul and William were killed when the regiment, despairing over the absence of any rescue team, attempted to scale the slippery slopes they had slid down when they first got lost in the underbrush the day before. “The slopes we tried to climb ended in a sheer cliff at the bottom” comments Rubigo. “When we tried to climb first one and then other slipped – and just kept slipping. Anselm dived after them, but unlike when we had slid down the day before and gotten trapped, there was nothing to stop their fall and Anselm nearly joined them.”
The six others made it up, barely, after hours of struggle, and eventually, exhausted reached civilization, but although nature was partly to blame here, Rubigo says they only tried climbing “when it became obvious the school wasn’t coming for them. If they had come we wouldn’t have had to try what we did.”
What’s more, they declare, other protocols were not followed by the school and contributed further to the situation beyond the lack of a working SPOT. “The maps were all fake,” argues another of the boys. “Mismatched, switched, out of date, or something, but they were wrong. Since the school has taken students over this same pass before, they obviously should have known something wasn’t right with those horribly incorrect ones they gave us.”
Reports on these maps attached in supplementary material to the filing indicate that incorrect maps supplied by the OLP caused two miles alone of the distance WCCLE 5 went off-course. “The maps had a trail all the way on the other side of a mountain,” says Tyler Collins, a WCC Junior commenting on the case, “Since WCCLE 5 trusted and followed the map as they were instructed to, they went off more than two miles before they even reached the real danger and confusion of that final day.”
Further, the boys also claim that the Leave No Trace protocols taught by the school as inviolable could have led to their death. “It was getting cold out there that night we slept on the edge of the cliff,” comments another of the Lost Boys. “If we hadn’t broken the rule and burned some of the trees hanging out of the rock we would turned from WCCLE to ICICLE.”
As it is, two of the six survivors were treated for latent hypothermia and all six had severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in its “rickety delusions” form.
The Mantyh and Albers families still grieving over the loss of their sons in this disaster and the survivors are still recovering while trying hard to study but nothing’s changed at the OLP and the COR expedition,” comments WCCLE 5’s lawyer Dave Mills. “The school has done nothing to make anyone comfortable that this won’t happen again. The students and their families only want justice for a disaster that was no fault of theirs.”
WCC has not admitted to nor denied this alleged negligence but within a statement ahead of the first hearings in July on this case they say they are exploring possible legal action of their own against WCCLE 5 whom they say “carelessly destroyed school property including a highly valuable bear fence and mosquito net.”
There has been no comment yet on why both sides waited so long before making their allegations and lawsuits or as to why WCCLE 5 appeared “happy, thankful, and relieved” rather than angry when they were found by the school’s instructors who had led WCCLE 5 earlier in the three-week program. Neither John Paul nor William’s body was recovered from the precipitous fall each underwent, but Mills also today tacked on a request to his lawsuit that the school do just that as a necessary first step to reaching a settlement with his clients.