Girl Scout Dies, 3 Injured After Tree Falls at Indiana Camp

Bill Pan
By Bill Pan
June 25, 2019US News
Girl Scout Dies, 3 Injured After Tree Falls at Indiana Camp
Isabelle Meyer of Jasper, Ind. adds hand sanitizer to gift bags for chemotherapy patients during a meeting of Girl Scout Troop 670 in Cannelton, Ind., on March 28, 2016. (Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald via AP)

A Girl Scout died and three others were injured when a tree fell at a camp in southern Indiana, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies received a call shortly before 11:30 a.m. on June 24 that a tree had fallen on campers at Camp Koch, said Perry County Sheriff Alan Malone. Emergency responders arrived the scene to found four injured people, who were immediately transported to nearby hospitals.

The two adults and two children were pinned to the ground by the 35-feet-tall tree, reported Fox59 News.

Isabelle Meyer, 11, was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Evansville, where she was later pronounced dead from head and abdominal injuries, the broadcaster reported.

During a press conference on Tuesday morning, authorities announced that the other child was treated and released. The adults, Melinda Garmen of Mt. Vernon and Judy Kicklighter of Evansville, were in serious but stable condition on Tuesday, reported DuBois County Free Press.

“We have learned that one of the four victims has passed away,” said County Sheriff Malone in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims, their families, staff and campers during this tragic time.”

Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana released a statement Monday night, saying Camp Koch had been closed due to the investigation. The statement, obtained by DuBois County Free Press, reads:

“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.”

According to the official website of Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana, Camp Koch is located near near Cannelton, Indiana. The facility covers some 500 acres of rugged woodland on the Ohio River, which runs along the Indiana-Kentucky border, and has been open for Girls Scouts and adult instructors since 1942.

Boy Scout Dies From Dehydration, Overheating During Hike

About two months ago, a 16-year-old Boy Scout who collapsed last month on a troop hiking trip in the southern Arizona desert died of dehydration and overheating, an autopsy shows.

Joshua White’s April 27 death at Picacho Peak State Park was an accident, the Pinal County medical examiner said in a report released this week to the Associated Press.

The autopsy said White was 6 feet tall and weighed 289 pounds but “had no known medical history.” His obituary said he belonged to the junior varsity football team at Estrella Foothills High School in Goodyear, a suburb west of Phoenix.

The medical examiner’s report said the boy reportedly drank 2 quarts of water while climbing the peak between Phoenix and Tucson and another 2 quarts on the way down. The small group of Scouts hiked for six hours on a day when temperatures reached 96 degrees.

NTD Photo
Picacho Peak State Park in Picacho, Ariz., on April 4, 2009. (Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo)

The Pinal County sheriff’s office initially said the Scouts had water when they set out but ran out at the top. The park’s website recommends that hikers each carry at least 2 to 4 quarts of water.

After White died, his family said in a statement released through the Boy Scouts that the teen loved scouting. They said that he, the other troop members, and their leaders were all experienced hikers and “fully prepared” for the outing.

White’s fellow hikers called 911 after he collapsed, but the teen was unconscious when a park ranger arrived, the sheriff’s deputies said. The hikers said paramedics also evaluated two adults and one child for exhaustion, but they did not need to go to a hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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