GoFundMe / PNG
VICTORIA — The 13-year-old boy killed on a camping expedition by a falling tree shouted to warn his friends just before he was struck, his father said Sunday.Graham Caverhill said police have told him his son, Tai, managed to yell out a warning to his friends just before the tree came down on him.“I console myself that it’s tragic, but there is nobody to blame because the boys were just being boys out doing what boys should be doing,” said Caverhill.“They were in the woods, exploring and having a great time. They weren’t sitting at home on their phones,” he said. “Tai was with his friends and he yelled out to help them,” he said.Tai Caverhill, a Grade 8 student at Lansdowne Middle School, died on Thursday during a three-day school outing to Camp Barnard near Sooke.
Emergency crews on scene at Camp Barnard near Sooke.
CHEK News /
Gusting winds are suspected of knocking over a tree, pinning him. When emergency workers arrived they found him not breathing. Despite resuscitation attempts Tai was pronounced dead at the scene.Immediately, Lansdowne Middle School cancelled the camping trip and other camp outings that were planned. The Greater Victoria School District has said other camping trips will be reconsidered.Students and teachers at Lansdowne Middle School have since responded with a huge outpouring of grief and sympathy for the Caverhill family. Other people, such as Tai’s two little-league coaches from years past, turned out to offer sympathy and remembrance to the family.Related
Premier John Horgan, whose riding includes Camp Barnard passed on condolences to the Caverhill family and to the Lansdowne Middle School community.Caverhill said it’s not really surprising, considering Tai’s personality made him a friend to everyone he met. The father said it’s the sort of thing that always seems to be said but, in his son’s case, it was true.“Wherever Tai went, he seemed to touch people,” he said. “I don’t know what he had, but it just seemed to attach to people.”Caverhill remembers returning Tai to school in Grade 2 or 3 after what he remembered as a dentist appointment. On seeing him, it was like the entire playground erupted.“It was like the whole school yard came up and swarmed him, hugging him and laughing,” said the father. “Kids don’t do that for everybody.”With high school approaching, Caverhill said Tai had applied to attend Oak Bay High School to join friends from Lansdowne. But it meant leaving his catchment area and other friends headed for Reynolds Secondary.“He’s got a little crew from the neighbourhood that he’s known since kindergarten and he asked one [friend] what he thought,” said Caverhill.“The friend said ‘Dude, it doesn’t matter because we are going to be friends for life and it won’t make any difference which school you choose because we love you,’ ” said Caverhill.Tai was the oldest of two children of Caverhill and his Thai wife, Boom. The couple also have a 10-year-old daughter, Lanna. The family attended a Buddhist memorial service on Sunday.A GoFundMe page has been set up by a group, Thai Kids Club of Victoria.According to the page, Lanna lives with tuberous sclerosis, a disorder that causes the growth of benign tumors on the brain and other organs. She has already had surgery.“If Tai was still with us, he would be one of the main supports for Lanna,” says the GoFundMe page.Money raised from will be split, with half going to the Caverhills and the other half as a donation to Tuberous Sclerosis Canada in Tai’s name.CLICK HERE to report a typo. Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.