UPDATE: DNR identifies girl killed at Devil's Lake State Park af - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: DNR identifies girl killed at Devil's Lake State Park after tree fell

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: Kristin Kukla Photography Courtesy: Kristin Kukla Photography
BARABOO (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural resources releases the names of those involved in the tree fall at Devil's Lake State Park.

Park rangers say 11-year old Allison Spahr died after a tree fell on the tent she was sleeping in. Park rangers say she was staying at the campsite with her father, 51-year old Kevin Spahr, and 13-year old brother Kyle Spahr.

Officials say around 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, a large tree came crashing down on their tent and brought several other trees along with it.

The family was visiting the park from Cary, Illinois.


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BARABOO (WKOW)-- An 11-year-old girl is dead after a tree fell on the tent she was sleeping in at Devil's Lake State Park early Sunday morning. Park rangers say the girl was staying in campsite 435 with her father and 14-year-old brother. The family was visiting from Cary Illinois. Around 4:00 Sunday morning a large tree came crashing down on their tent and brought several other trees along with it.

"There were a few camp ground visitors that were up there trying to extricate the individuals who were in the tent. There were three individuals in the tent that were trapped," Devil's Lake State Park Superintendent Steve Schmelzer says.

Officials say the 14-year-old boy was able to squeeze his way out from under the tree. His father was pinned near his pelvis and couldn't get out until first responders got to the scene. They both received minor injuries. The 11-year-old girl was trapped under the tree and died on scene.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is still investigating the accident, but says it was likely caused by a thunderstorm that moved through the area early Sunday morning.

"I'm sure it had something to do with the weather. There was a thunderstorm that went through the area. I'm not sure it was because of wind or if it was lightning or what the cause might be," Schmelzer says.

Park rangers say they inspect the trees around their camp sites at least twice a year. They also scan the camp sites for anything that might cause harm to visiting campers. Schmelzer says the tree that fell on the family was healthy and showed no weak spots. He believes the weather simply forced the tree to break and fall down.

"You know, the wind or the lightning. It's just a freak occurrence," Schmelzer says.

Park rangers say that to their knowledge, an accident like this has never happened before. They've had their fair share of close calls with trees falling on tents and campsites, but they've never seen a serious injury or death.

The Sauk County Sheriff's Office is also assisting in the investigation. They are waiting to release the names of the victims until family members are notified.
  

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BARABOO (WKOW) -- An 11-year-old girl is dead after a tree fell on the tent she was in at Devil's Lake State Park early Sunday morning.

According to the Sauk County Sheriff's Office, officials responded to the Ice Age Campground of the state park at about 4 a.m. and found a father and his 11-year-old daughter trapped underneath a tree that fell onto their tent during a storm. A 14-year-old boy was able to climb out of the tent after the accident.

Officials were able to free the individuals from entrapment and took the father and the 14-year-old to an area hospital by ambulance. The 11-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. Names are being withheld pending notification of relatives. The accident remains under investigation.

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