10-Year-old Camper Hurt by Falling Tree

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August 10, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

A 10-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries Monday night (Aug. 9)  after a tree fell on her family's campsite during a wind storm at a Lebanon, Maine, campground.

At shortly before 6 p.m. the Lebanon Rescue Department responded to Flat Rock Family Resort for a report of a child who was struck by a fallen tree, Foster's Daily Democrat reported.

It was reported that the girl was pinned under the tree and several camp guests and staff had to pick the tree up off of her. They estimated she was pinned for about 10 minutes and she had lost consciousness for a short time.

"Lifeflight and DART helicopters were requested, but were unable to respond due to the weather. The female patient was loaded into Lebanon Ambulance One and transported to Frisbie Hospital in Rochester to be stabilized and then was transferred to the trauma center at Maine Medical Center. Her injuries were considered critical and life threatening when she left the scene," said Assistant Rescue Chief Jason Cole.

"The witnesses said it was a beautiful afternoon and they had been outdoor playing when all of a sudden, it got very dark, it downpoured, there was lightning and the wind picked up. They described a funnel-like wind that took tree limbs and scattered them everywhere. They saw stuff on the ground picked up and was just thrown. They said it was very scary and came out of nowhere," Cole added.

Two additional ambulances were called in to assist with the total of six patients that were in the tent when the tree fell. Three siblings, all age 10 — the family had quadruplets — were taken to Frisbie Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The father drove himself to the hospital and the mother went in Lebanon Ambulance One with her child. The family is from Millis, Mass.

Resort owner and General Manager John Hastings told Foster's this morning that the entire storm lasted about two minutes but felled six trees on the grounds. One of those trees fell on a tent containing a family of six and critically injured a girl inside.

"Our concern was that as we looked around, there were several small trees down on other campsites. After rending care to the patients, we split rescue teams to go through the nearly 350 campsites and check on people and do a damage assessment. We found several small and a couple large trees down and quite a bit of damage. No other injuries were discovered, but several campers reported close calls with flying debris and falling trees. We did a secondary search and confirmed everyone was OK," Cole said.

Lebanon Emergency Management officials responded to the scene and assisted. York County EMA officials also assisted through phone contacts.

Crews remained on scene for several hours ensuring all the campers were OK and assisting the family retrieve valuables from the wrecked campsite and vehicle.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the 10-year-old patient at Maine Medical Center in serious condition that she will make a full recovery. Our rescue members brought the three siblings to get a snack at the on-site store and the children all declined any food or drink and wanted to buy their sister a stuffed animal for the hospital. That hits home when you see the children all give up things for themselves to help their sister," Cole said.

The family's vehicle, a newer model Toyota van, was destroyed in the incident. It was towed from the scene.

The scene was cleared at 10 p.m.

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