Kinneret: 14-year-old boy killed by tree

Family camping trip turns fatal as branch hits tent in Yarden Park.

kkl trees  (photo credit: )
kkl trees
(photo credit: )
Tragedy struck a family camping trip before dawn on Tuesday morning when a tree branch fell on a 14-year-old boy sleeping in a tent with his father and brother at Yarden Park north of Lake Kinneret. The Kedumim resident was evacuated by helicopter but died on the way to Rambam hospital in Haifa.
Dozens of families were sleeping in the park in tents when a tree limb fell from a eucalyptus tree onto the boy's tent around 3:00 a.m., injuring his head and chest. His father and brother were also slightly injured. The boy's mother and sister, who were sleeping in an adjacent tent, were not injured.
Police evacuated the remaining campers and opened an investigation into the incident to ascertain whether negligence had been involved. Police and park officials also surveyed the park to determine if there were any other dangers.
Park administration said the park had been shut down until the investigation was complete and all the trees had been checked. The park administration added that the 1,000 dunam park had undergone a large-scale preventive engineering survey the year before. The survey, conducted every few years, led to serious pruning of the trees to prevent accidents.
Magen David Adom paramedic Ronen Kadosh described the scene in an interview on Army Radio.
"A tree branch broke off the tree and crushed the boy's chest. Around 3:20, we received a call and arrived at the scene. We found him unconscious and in very serious condition suffering from injuries to the head and chest. His family was there and were very upset – it was a very difficult scene to see. We started initial resuscitation and chest drainage. A little while later, we transferred him to an IDF helicopter which gave him more advanced treatment, but we were told that he died on the way to Rambam Hospital," he said.
Police said he died at the hospital of his injuries.  
A park administration spokeswoman extended her sympathy to the family and characterized the event as a "horrible unpredictable tragedy."
"We extend our full sympathy to the family after this tragic accident. No one could predict that the tree limb would fall, it was a freak accident. A team checks the trees every day," she said. She said the tree branch was 15 centimeters thick and four meters long and fell from a height of 10 to 12 meters. If the branch had fallen on his leg, he'd have survived with a broken leg, it was just tragic that it fell on his head and chest, she said.
She added that it was unusual for tree branches to fall on campers.
A Galilee Police spokesman said the investigation was ongoing.
Last year, a tree fell on a Tiberias resident as she was walking along one of the city's streets, killing her.