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Mystery Surrounds Fallen Tree

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Groveland, CA — It remains somewhat of a mystery what caused a 70-plus ft. oak tree to fall at Camp Tawonga on Wednesday.

As reported earlier, it sadly resulted in the death of camp counselor Annais Rittenberg. Four other employees were taken to area hospitals to treat minor to severe injuries. Two of the workers have since been released.

Sgt. Jim Oliver of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office says the tree broke an estimated 32 ft. from the ground, and says it appears to be a “freak accident.” There were no obvious signs of rot or decay. Because of its proximity to power lines, Sgt. Oliver says the tree was subject to yearly inspections by PG&E. Sgt. Oliver says that during the most recent inspection, PG&E indicated that there was nothing showing that there was anything wrong with the tree.

PG&E Spokesperson Nicole Liebelt told the Associated Press that the company is closely cooperating with the investigation.

Camp Tawonga is a Jewish based children’s camp on Mather Road. Rittenberg had been attending UC Santa Cruz.


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