Teen girl dies in freak accident at birthday party

A 16-year-old Cobb County, Georgia, girl died Sunday after a tree holding her hammock snapped and fell on her, according to Atlanta news station WSB TV.  

Joelle Dalgeish was camping at Red Top Mountain Friday night. She and several girls were celebrating a friend’s 16th birthday when one of the trees holding her hammock snapped and landed on her, leaving her unconscious and unresponsive.

Bartow County Emergency Medical Services responded to at 911 call at approximately 11:30 pm and transported the teen to Cartersville Medical Center. She was later life-flighted to a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee and was placed on life support with head and spine trauma, according to the Marietta Daily Journalbut eventually succumbed to her injuries.

Fellow camper Erin O’Reilly described the shock of realizing what happened to Joelle to WSB TV.

I was one of the girls sitting around the campfire and I saw the tree fall. I was the only one who saw it. The other girls were facing the other direction. We didn’t know it hit Joelle, so we went over there, and we were like ‘Can you hear me?’ and that’s when Kate said call 911 and that’s when all the girls started coming out of their tents.”

Dalgleish was a sophomore at Harrison High School where she was a beloved member of the cross-country team. Harrison High principal Ashlynn Campbell wrote a letter to the school community which said Joelle was “a generous young lady, whose smile and infectious laughter brought happiness to many students and teachers at our school.”

The Dalgleish family released their daughter’s final video blog post and it was shared on Atlanta’s Fox 5 news channel.

“Things that you went through and everything you’re going to go through, it was pre-planned out for you,” she says in the video. “There was no way you could change that.”

Grief counselors were dispatched to Harrison High Monday. A Celebration of Life will be held for Dalgleish on Thursday.  


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