A 50-year-old California man was killed Saturday when he was hit in the face with a homemade rocket at the annual Boy Scouts "Rocket Rave," the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said Sunday.
The man, identified as Michael Bentley, of Highland, was attending the event at the Giant Rock OHV Area in Johnson Valley, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
The event featured both commercially and homemade hobby model rockets, deputies said.
Bentley was struck around noon while watching a friend launch a homemade rocket. The rocket took off into the sky, and Bently lost sight of it. As he was peering upward, the rocket dropped and struck him in the face, the sheriff's department said.
Panic broke out and spectators called 911, according to the sheriff’s department.
Off-duty officers attending the event heard about the emergency and rushed to help Bentley, but quickly realized the extent of his injuries. Det. F. Hernandez and Lt. S. Fisk called for a helicopter to transport Bentley to Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs.
Bentley died, despite emergency surgery meant to save him.
A GoFundMe account set up for his family says Bentley is survived by his wife and four sons.
"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."