Boy Scout leader dies in freak homemade rocket accident in Landers


A 50-year-old Boy Scout leader from Highland was killed Saturday when a homemade rocket hit him in the face at the annual Boy Scouts “Rocket Rave,” according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Michael Bentley was attending the event, in which scouts launch home-made and commercially made model rockets, at the Giant Rock OHV Area in Johnson Valley.

Bentley was struck around noon while watching a friend launch a homemade rocket. According to authorities, the rocket took off into the sky, and Bently lost sight of it. The rocket then dropped and struck him in the face as he was looking upward.

Spectators called 9-1-1 and two off-duty officers, who were nearby at another event,  rushed to help Bentley.  The officers quickly realized the extent of his injuries and a helicopter was called to transport Bentley to Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs – where he died during surgery.

A GoFundMe account for Bentley’s family has been started.  The page states:

“All proceeds will go towards funeral costs and accrued medical expenses,” the GoFundMe page says. “Mike has done so much for his family and community. As a family, we want our father’s life to be remembered properly. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated by the Bentley family.”

Bentley is survived by his wife and four sons.