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updated: 6/2/2014 1:02 PM

Officials ID Cary girl killed when falling tree lands on tent

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  • Allison Spahr, a 10-year-old girl from Cary, was killed when a large tree fell on her family's tent while camping at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Sunday morning at around 4 a.m. This photo, taken before Sunday, shows the camp site where the incident took place.

      Allison Spahr, a 10-year-old girl from Cary, was killed when a large tree fell on her family's tent while camping at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Sunday morning at around 4 a.m. This photo, taken before Sunday, shows the camp site where the incident took place.
    Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

 
 

Authorities have identified the 10-year-old Cary girl who was killed in a Wisconsin state park early Sunday morning when storms toppled a large tree onto a tent where she and two family members were sleeping.

The girl, Allison Spahr, was pronounced dead at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin, shortly after rescuers were called to the scene about 4 a.m.

The tree also pinned the girl's 51-year-old father, Kevin, R. Spahr, who was treated for injuries at nearby St. Clare hospital and later released, said Steve Schmelzer, superintendent of Devil's Lake State Park. The girl's 13-year-old brother, Kyle Spahr, also was treated and released.

"From all outward appearances, it was a mature, healthy oak tree," said Bob Manwell, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "It was toppled over, torn out from the roots."

The location where the family was sleeping was camp site 435 in the park, located in central Wisconsin between Madison and Wisconsin Dells. There were no other reports of injuries caused by the storm at the 9,200-acre park, officials said.

While the park has seen fatalities from drowning and rock-climbing accidents over the years, Schmelzer said he cannot recall a falling tree killing anyone in the two decades he's worked there.

"Visitor safety is the No. 1 priority on all properties the department manages, and we do our very best to provide a safe environment for our visitors," a statement released by the department of natural resources reads. "Campgrounds are inspected regularly and action is taken to eliminate potential hazards whenever possible. Unfortunately, not all possible events can be foreseen."

Staff writer Lenore T. Adkins contributed to this report

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