Society

9-Year-Old Oaklee Sidwell Dies After Freak Wind Gust Carries Away Her Trampoline

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A 9-year-old Utah girl died last week after wind lifted her trampoline high in the air causing her to fall to the ground where she sustained multiple injuries that proved fatal.

Oaklee Sidwell of Panguitch, Utah, was playing on the trampoline on Aug. 16, with friends. When they were finished bouncing around, her companions had all dismounted the trampoline and were safely on the ground when the young girl sat down on the trampoline surface to put her shoes back on.

At that time, a sudden, powerful gust of wind struck.

According to information released by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the wind lifted the trampoline with the little girl still aboard “many feet” in the air, carrying it about 150 feet away. Oaklee apparently fell to the ground before the trampoline landed.

The trampoline was in her own backyard.

"All the precautions to have a safe trampoline for children to play on were met," said Cheryl Church, Garfield County sheriff’s spokeswoman, to the Deseret News. "It was just a freak type thing that happened here that the wind would come along and pick it up and carry her away."

The girl was taken by ambulance then helicopter to two different medical facilities, but her injuries were too severe. She passed away the following day.

"This is a tragedy that has affected the entire county," Church said. "We are so saddened and deeply sorry for what has happened."

In the young girl’s obituary, her parents Tracy and Desiree Sidwell wrote, “Oaklee was here with us for nine wonderful years and was so full of life. She lived it to the fullest and shared her happiness with everyone around her.”

According to the sheriff’s press release, the trampoline was properly anchored to the ground with safety netting correctly installed.

SOURCES: The Deseret News, Metro, Fox 13 Salt Lake City