Tree branch falls on girl at Grand Haven park

A large branch fell from a tree in a Grand Haven Park, injuring a 12-year-old girl.

TREE BRANCH FALLS ON GIRL IN GRAND HAVEN - A 12-year-old Grand Haven girl was injured when a large branch fell on her late Tuesday afternoon in a local park.

The incident happened at about 5:30 p.m. at the Bolt Park Market, which takes place at the small city park at the corner of Beechtree Street and Pennoyer Avenue.

Tonja Harris said that the girl, Hope Street, was handing out soap samples and entertaining Harris’ toddler when the branch came crashing down. Hope’s mother, Peggy Street, was able to push the toddler’s stroller out of the way, but the branch hit the canopy and landed on Hope’s shoulder, Harris said.

“We just heard it crack,” said Brenda Cowan, who was in the next vendor booth. “Everyone heard it and yelled, ‘watch out.’”

Harris said: “My heart dropped as soon as I heard everyone screaming. It was definitely a very scary time,” she said as she held her daughter close.

Harris said everyone in the park rushed over to the area and pulled the large branch off the girl.

It was more concerning because Hope is disabled and recently had surgery, Harris said.

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety officers were quickly on the scene. North Ottawa Community Hospital paramedics transported the girl to the local hospital.

“Before she left, she wanted to see Amelia (the toddler) to make sure she was OK,” Harris said.

Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis said that he was aware of the incident and also understood that the girl would be OK.

“Of course, we’ll go down and look at the trees,” he said Tuesday evening. “Any time there’s an incident, we’ll go in and make sure everything’s safe.”

McGinnis wondered aloud about the likelihood of a branch falling just when there were people at the park. It was not windy at the time, but winds had been blowing in the 15-25 mph range over the past weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Grand Haven Tribune


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