Victims identified in fatal fallen tree incident at Girl Scout camp

Isabelle Meyer (Courtesy Family)
Girl Scout Killed by Falling Tree at Camp
Girl killed by tree
Girl Scout killed at camp
Girl Scout Dies After Tree Falls
Girl Scout Killed by Tree

PERRY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) — Police have identified the Girl Scout who died after a tree fell on four people at Camp Koch in Perry County Monday. She is 11-year-old Isabelle Meyer from Jasper, Indiana.

The Perry County Sheriff's Office said the report of the incident came in around 11:30 a.m. local time.

According to police, the tree pinned the victims to the ground, seriously injuring three people and fatally injuring the Girl Scout.

Perry County Sheriff Alan Malone said the victims were hiking when the incident happened.

A large group of Girl Scouts were hiking down a steep gravel road heading back to camp and eager for lunch. It was raining and the ground was saturated by previous storms.

Malone estimated the tree about 45 feet tall and said it looked up rooted.

It's unclear exactly why the tree fell, but Sheriff Malone did mention there has been a lot of rain this season, but there were no severe weather warnings in effect.

"They're Girl Scouts. They were just there to have fun," Sheriff Malone said. "It's a freak accident."

Isabelle Meyer (Courtesy Family)

Police said the other three victims were a 50-year-old Melinda Garman of Mt. Vernon, Indiana. She went to an Owensboro, Kentucky hospital to treat head, neck and chest injuries. Judy Kicklighter, 55, suffered pelvic injuries. She was transported to Perry County Memorial Hospital before gonig to a hospital in Evansville. The last victim was a 10-year-old girl who suffered hand injuries. The 10-year-old was treated and released from a local hospital.

The Department of Natural Resources say workers in state parks routinely check campgrounds' trails and roads for hazards.

Two full-time trail managers look for hazardous trees and cut them town. Groups of volunteers walk the trails looking for trouble. The park also counts on visitors to report problems.

"So we have a system set up where the main park trails are patrolled pretty much every two weeks," said Eagle Creek Park Naturalist Dawn Van Deman.

The Girl Scouts provided the following statement:

Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana was deeply saddened to learn of the terrible incident involving a fallen tree that took place at our Camp Koch property today, resulting in serious injury to several campers and volunteers, and the tragic death of one of our Girl Scouts attending camp. There is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls and volunteers. We have closed Camp Koch while we work with our camp officials, as well as local law enforcement to investigate the incident, and will release more information as available and appropriate. During this difficult time, the entire Girl Scout family mourns the loss of one of our girls, and we ask for privacy for the individuals and their families as they grieve and mourn this tragic loss.

Girl Scouts of Southwestern Indiana closed the camp and provided counselors to children and adults struggling with the tragedy.

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