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 when a tree branch fell on and fatally injured a 14-year-old boy sleeping in a tent with his father and brother in Yarden Park north of Lake Kinneret.
The Kedumim teen was evacuated by helicopter to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa but succumbed to his injuries.
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 a.m., injuring him in the head and chest. His father and brother were also lightly injured. The boy’s mother and sister, who were sleeping in an adjacent tent, were not hurt.
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.
The park’s administration said the area had been shut down and would remain closed to the public until the investigation had been completed and all the trees had been checked. The administration added that the 1,000- dunam (100 hectare) park had undergone a large-scale preventive engineering survey the year before. The survey, conducted every few years, led to widespread 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 was 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.
A park 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.”
The tree branch was 15 centimeters thick, 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, the spokeswoman said.
She added that it was unusual for tree branches to fall on campers.