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Cary girl killed in camping accident

Published: Sunday, June 1, 2014 5:13 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 2, 2014 12:27 a.m. CDT

CARY – An 11-year-old Cary girl was killed and two others were injured when a tree limb fell on their tent Sunday morning at Devil’s Lake State Park in south central Wisconsin, officials said.

The girl, whose name is not being released pending the notification of family, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Steve Schmelzer, the park’s superintendent. Her 13-year-old brother and father were taken to nearby St. Clare Hospital.

The injuries occurred when a large tree fell during a thunderstorm Sunday morning, hitting another tree, Schmelzer said. A number of branches fell on the family’s tent.

Only the one tent was hit, he said. There were 355 campsites occupied that night.

The exact cause of the tree falling is still being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

This type of accident is “pretty rare,” Schmelzer said.

The campsite has remained open following the accident.

Devil’s Lake State Park is popular with visitors from the Chicago area and northern Illinois. It receives 1.8 million visitors a year.

A statement released by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources emphasized visitor safety as a priority, adding that campgrounds are inspected regularly and potential hazards are eliminated whenever possible.

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