Kanczes family sues YMCA over son’s death during outing in Somerset County
The family of the 15-year-old North Huntingdon boy who fell to his death in July while rappelling in Somerset County are suing the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and its affiliate in Beaver County for unspecified damages in Allegheny County court.
The suit alleges the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer, a Beaver County affiliate of the organization, were negligent in setting up and supervising a rock climb that used rappelling ropes at a rock outcropping known as Cove Rocks in Forbes State Forest.
Nathan Kanczes was attending a teen wilderness camp at Camp Kon-O-Kwee that made a trip to YMCA Deer Valley Camp near Mt. Davis in Somerset County.
While there, Nathan and other campers made the trip to Cove Rocks, where YMCA officials failed to set up rock climbing equipment safely, didn’t properly train or choose quality people to supervise the climb, according to the lawsuit.
Nathan fell about 50 feet onto the rocks on July 15 and was flown from the remote area to Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center, where he died.
The suit was filed Sept. 30 by Diane Kanczes, Nathan’s mother. The family is represented by Edgar Snyder & Associates.
The family doesn’t want to speak about the lawsuit publicly, a spokeswoman for the firm said Friday. The attorneys in the case were asked by the family not to comment, she said.
“We continue to mourn the loss of Nathan Kanczes; however, it is our policy to not comment on pending litigation,” YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh spokeswoman Alissa Clendenen said in a statement.
Nathan was an honor student at Norwin High School, where he also played baritone with the marching band and was a member of the Norwin Ski Club, according to the school.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .