Isabelle Meyer, an 11-year old Girl Scout from Jasper, Indiana, died when a tree fell in a “freak accident” at an Indiana campground on Monday, June 24, 2019, according to the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.
The Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana website says that Camp Henry F. Koch covers approximately 500 acres of rugged woodland in the hills along the Ohio River, near Cannelton, Indiana.
According to the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Central Dispatch received a 911 call reporting that a tree had fallen on campers at Camp Koch at approximately 11:30 a.m. on June 24, 2019.
The Perry Co. Sheriff’s Office, the Indiana State Police, Perry County EMS, Perry County Rescue, Tell City Police Department and Central Dispatch all worked together on the investigation.
Here’s what you need to know:
Four People Were Injured By a Fallen Tree at Camp Koch Near Cannelton, Indiana
Perry County Sheriff’s Office says that after receiving the 911 call, emergency responders and sheriff’s deputies quickly responded to the scene at Camp Koch, the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana’s resident camp facility since 1942.
When first responders arrived on the scene, they found four injured persons. In a press conference, Director of Perry County EMS Scott Rogers described the victims and their injuries. The first victim was an 11-year-old female, later identified as Isabelle Meyer, who sustained head and abdominal injuries. The second was a 50-year-old female with head, neck and chest injuries. The third was a 55-year-old female with a pelvic injury. The last victim was a 10-year-old female from Boonville who was treated for a hand injury and released.
All four victims were transported to various area hospitals. Isabelle and another victim were later transferred to St. Vincent Hospital in Evansville, Indiana, where Isabelle was ultimately declared deceased.
The Perry County Sheriff Said it Was ‘Very Bad Timing’
Perry County Sheriff Alan Malone said in a press conference that the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana were at the nature center for weekly overnight camps. The girls involved in the accident were out for a morning hike, walking down a gravel road on a steep incline back toward the mess hall.
“It was very bad timing,” Malone said.
The tree that fell was estimated to be between 35 and 40 feet tall. Malone said that Perry County has received quite a bit of rain over the past few weeks. The ground is very saturated, however, the exact reason the tree fell is unclear. No witnesses indicated any lightning strikes or large gusts of wind.
When asked if the girls were doing anything unsafe, Malone’s lip began to quiver and his eyes started to water. He did not speculate that.
“These are Girl Scouts,” he said. “They were there to have a good time.”
Girl Scouts of Central Indiana Responded to the Accident
“Girl Scouts of Central Indiana has been sad to learn about the devastating tragedy in our sister council in southwest Indiana,” the organization wrote. “The entire Girl Scout family shares in their pain and sadness. At Girl Scouts, we rise as one, lean on one another, and support our sister Girl Scouts through good times and bad.”
Members of the Girl Scout community, including Troops 4535 and 70095, extended prayers and condolences under the post.
“Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana is working to investigate this matter in collaboration with local authorities. There is nothing Girl Scouts takes more seriously than the safety of our girls. We have offered support and will respect the privacy request from the families and Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana. We know many Girl Scouts of Central Indiana girls and families may want to express their sympathies, and we will share those opportunities as appropriate.”