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Boy Scout Leader Dies After Hobby Rocket Hits Him In The Face

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Michael Bentley with Scouts at the 2012 'Rocket Rave' (via Facebook)
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A longtime Boy Scout leader was killed in an accident over the weekend when a hobby rocket came down and struck him in the face.On Saturday, 50-year-old Michael Bentley of Highland was with scouts in Johnson Valley for their annual "Rocket Rave" event. Bentley was looking up towards the sky when he lost track of one of the rockets and it came down and hit him in the face. Two off-duty San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials were at the event when the incident took place around noon, and the two of them realized the severity of Bentley's injuries and called for a CHP helicopter to airlift the man, reports The Press Enterprise.

Bentley died during surgery at a Palm Springs hospital.

"All of us in the Inland Empire Council are really very sad for the loss of Michael and our thoughts and prayers go to him and his family," local Boy Scouts official Joseph Daniszewski told the PE. "He just had a big heart," said Reverend Cynthia Huskey of Highland's First United Methodist Church, who sponsored Boy Scout Troop 45, the one Bentley worked with. "So many hearts are broken."

In 2010, he won the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Beaver Award, an honor awarded to the adult leaders for their service to the organization. "He was a great mentor, always trying to help out the young men in the Boy Scouts," fellow Troop 45 leader and family friend Byron Morales told the San Bernardino Sun. "Just a great inspiration to a lot of young men and leaders."

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Bentley is survived by his wife and four sons, three of whom are Eagle Scouts (and the fourth on target to achieve the rank). His son Andrew wrote on the family's GoFundMe page, "Mike has done so much for his family and community. As a family, we want our father's life to be remembered properly." All funds raised will cover funeral costs and medical expenses.