The community suffered a devastating blow after an 11 year old died during a hiking trip at Camp Koch.
A tree fell on her and three others, and police are describing the death of Isabelle Meyer of Jasper as a freak accident.
Isabelle, a fellow camper, and two adults were hiking when they all found themselves trapped under the tree.
“We had an amazing response yesterday. And unfortunately a little girl died,” Sheriff Alan Malone of Perry County stated through tears.
Isabelle was along a gravel path with a 10-year-old scoutmate, along with two women in their 50s: Melinda Garman and Judy Kicklighter. They were about a mile from the front gate when the tree toppled down.
“It looked to us–or to me–like the tree was uprooted,” Malone observed. “Perry County has received a large amount of rain here in the last two weeks. The ground is very saturated. Why that tree right there fell, I wish I could tell you.”
A 911 call from the camp sent first responders from across the state scrambling.
“I cannot say thank you enough to the gentlemen behind me who so desperately tried to save Isabelle’s life. Your efforts are not for nothing,” praised Indiana State Police Sergeant Robbie Lambert.
When they arrived, they immediately set to work to remove the victims from under the tree.
Each victim was transferred to hospitals in Kentucky and Indiana based on the severity of the injury.
While the others were listed in serious but stable condition, Isabelle could not be saved.
“I know Perry County will stand tall and help these families out any way we can,” Malone added.
The camp is expected to remain closed for some time out of respect for Isabelle.