An 11-year-old girl scout has passed away in what authorities are referring to as a “freak accident” after a 45-foot high, 3-foot wide tree fell on her and three others at an Indiana campground called Camp Koch on Monday.
Jasper, Indiana resident Isabelle Meyer died after suffering from both head and torso injuries.
According to People Magazine, Perry County Sheriff Alan Malone confirmed Meyer was the only victim of the incident who suffered fatal injuries.
Malone described the tree falling as a “freak of nature.” While there had been an excessive amount of rain in the area, there wasn’t any high wind, storm warnings, or lightning strikes at the time the tragedy occurred.
Isabelle, along with two middle-aged women and a 10-year-old girl, were walking together down a gravel walkway back toward the mess hall at around 11:30 a.m. after returning from a hike in the woodlands with the rest of the group in front of them.
“They were behind everyone else and the rest of the girls were ahead of them. It was raining so hard…the ground is very wet,” Malone added as he continued to explain what happened.
The large tree suddenly – and unexpectedly – came crashing down as it pinned the two young girls and the two older women to the ground. The four females remained pinned underneath the heavy tree for roughly 10 minutes before assistance arrived.
Rescuers were able to make quick work of pulling the four victims from under the tree before they were transported to a nearby hospital. The help, unfortunately, came too late for Meyer who had tragically succumbed to her injuries.
Girl Scout, 11, Tragically Killed by Falling Tree in 'Freak' Accident at Indiana Campground https://t.co/vUPb6fEwJs
— People (@people) June 26, 2019
The other minor involved in the incident is said to have received minor injuries including some possible broken bones in her wrist and hand. She, however, has since been released from medical care. The two older women are reportedly still under hospital care. They are said to be in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.
Sheriff Malone told reporters they will likely never know what caused the tree to fall and shared empathy for those affected.
— Chaton Turner (@Chatonsworld) June 25, 2019
People Magazine also reports the campground is currently closed so GSA and local law enforcement can continue their investigation.
Communications Coordinator for Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana told the publication that the health, safety, and well being of their scouts and organization volunteers continues to be a top priority. She also expressed that they will continue to help and support those affected by the tragedy.