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June 21, 2016 3:16 pm

11-Year-Old Girl Killed at Jewish Summer Camp When Tree Fell on Cabin After Storm

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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A morning flag was raising at Camp Livingston after a camper was killed in the aftermath of a morning storm. Photo: Twitter.

A morning flag was raised at Camp Livingston after a camper was killed when a tree fell on her cabin. Photo: Twitter.

An 11-year-old girl was killed in a freak accident at a Jewish summer camp in Indiana early Tuesday morning, when a tree fell on her cabin.

The incident took place at Camp Livingston, operated by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. The camp said in a released statement that during an intense storm on Tuesday morning, at around 3 am, lightning struck a healthy tree, which then fell on the cabin in which the girl, Jadyn Larky, her bunk-mates and three adult counselors were sleeping. Larky was pronounced dead by emergency services at the scene.

A team of grief counselors from Cincinnati was called to assist campers and staff, according to the news outlet WPO Cincinnati. 

Several rounds of showers and storms passed through Switzerland County in Indiana on Tuesday morning, with winds gusting as high as 50 mph during Monday night.

WPO Cincinnati reported that there were 130 campers at Camp Livingston on Tuesday. The summer camp has been operating for more than 90 years, and its hosts Jewish youths, between the ages of 7 and 17, from around the US and Israel. There are two “villages” at the camp: one called Tel Aviv, where the boys’ cabins are located, and another called Jerusalem, for the girls.

The camp’s website said it holds drills for all emergency procedures during staff week, while fire and weather drills are held with campers at least once each session.

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  • My daughter Annais was killed by a falling oak branch at Camp Tawonga on July 3, 2013. Had our family accepted the “tragic act of Nature” statement issued on day one, we would never have learn ed that in fact there was shoddy tree safety maintenance going back years. We did our own investigation. 4000 pages of deposition. What disturbs me in this new case is that it is being called a “freak accident”. I would suggest that further investigation take place to answer:. 1. is this unusual weather in indian in the summer. ie electric storms
    2. How solid are the cabins. 3. Trees next to cabins. 4. Why was there nothing in practice in the event of a severe storm….eg…go to a more secure building like the dining hall. In Israel they go to bomb shelters. There is NO reason ever for a child being killed within the boundaries of a summer camp. Even now three years later there are people who think the tree that killed my daughter was in the forest. No…it was in t he center of the camp. Children gathered there several times a day. In fact two groups of kids…number around 50 or more were on their way to that exact spot. A mere two minutes is what saved them. Legal liability was so high up on the liist of calls made at Camp Tawonga that no one called me I got through 4 and a half hours after the fact. At the moment I am the lone and much castigated voice that has been calling out for transparency instead of cover up. I urge parents to ask more questions,. It is easy to put the blame on nature. And I say trees cannot monitor themselves. Property owners have to do that. And stand accountable when they have made ghastly mistakes. EAsy to pooh pooh what I am saying….The death of one child IS a national disaster.