A 14-year-old Coventry Junior High School boy has died after falling from a moving wagon during a Christian camping trip in West Virginia, authorities said.
Andrew Michael Gochenour died of head injuries Saturday at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, W.Va.
Andrew regularly attended The Lords House of Prayer in Akron and often volunteered for various church duties every Sunday, his pastor said.
The teen was eager to camp with other youth for a week at Singing Hills Youth Camp in Wirt County, Pastor Harvey Greathouse said.
The pastor, who said he has known Andrew since the teen was an infant, said the death appears to be an accident caused when he somehow fell from the wagon Friday and was struck by a wheel.
“God only knows. We can’t figure out exactly what happened,” Greathouse said. “It’s hard to understand. Andy was a good kid, bless his heart. It’s tough for everyone.”
The camp was founded nearly 50 years ago and attracts Christian youth from across the country. Greathouse, 82, helped start the camp, and his church has long ties to the facility.
On June 10, Andrew and about a dozen other youth from the Akron area along with his youth minister traveled to the camp for a weeklong visit. The camp offers the usual fare of swimming, canoeing, campfires and dormitory sleeping facilities.
According to Greathouse, Andrew was with a group of about six to eight children being driven on a type of flat-bed wagon to a river when the accident occurred Friday about 4 to 5 p.m.
The West Virginia State Patrol is investigating. First Sgt. Michael Baylous said Wednesday it was unclear why Andrew fell. He said it appears to be “just a tragic accident.”
Andrew is survived by parents, Michael and Vanessa Gochenour, two sisters and a brother. Funeral services are scheduled for noon Saturday at the Lords House of Prayer, 6105 Manchester Road.