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Sacramento Native Killed at Boy Scout Jamboree
A man born and raised in Sacramento was one of the four Boy Scout leaders killed in an accident at the National Jamboree in Virginia.

Ron Bitzer, 58, was one of the leaders helping set up a dining tent at Fort A.P. Hill. The center pole got stuck, and the four men were inside the tent trying to put it in place when it touched a power line. Bitzer died at the scene.

Bitzer's cousin, Margaret, said he had been a scout for 50 years, starting when he was growing up as an only child in Sacramento. "He didn't have playmates, and I think for him Boy Scouts was that kind of extended family," she said.

After graduating from Sacramento High School, Bitzer went on to McGeorge Law School. He married and moved to Anchorage, Alaska where he was a state administrative law judge. He and his two sons participated in scouting. Bitzer and his wife own a home in Truckee and planned to move there permanently.

"[His wife] said that she was so happy that the boys were with him enough years that he has imprinted them," Margaret Bitzer said.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Bitzer had a reputation for being experienced and cautious. He was known as a planner and had an eye for details. He reportedly had complained about the tent the four men were erecting because it was going to be more difficult to put up than promised.

The U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command and the Boy Scouts are investigating the deaths.

Story created 7/27/2005 - 7:52 AM       Last updated 7/27/2005 - 12:35 PM
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