STANDISH, Maine -- A 9-year-old girl was killed by a falling tree Thursday evening as a severe thunderstorm tore through Maine.
The girl was camping with her family at the Sebago Lake Family Campground when a line of severe weather moved through just before 4:30 p.m., bringing high winds and heavy rains, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. A spotter in the region reported a gust of 59 mph and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was in progress.
Dispatchers soon received a 911 call that a tree had fallen onto a car with a girl trapped inside. But firefighters and rescue crews had difficulty reaching the campground with extensive storm damage and numerous road blockages in nearly every direction, the sheriff's office said.
Fire trucks and medics were stopped about 0.1 miles from the scene due to road blockages and had to walk the rest of the way. When they arrived, they found a chaotic scene with multiple trees down, damage to the family's camper and two vehicles destroyed. Rescue crews and those at the campground feverishly worked to clear numerous trees using chainsaws and eventually used the Jaws of Life to reach the trapped girl.
Medics performed CPR, but she was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Sheriff's officials said the thunderstorm caused widespread damage across the Standish and Sebago area, including several nearby homes and campsites. Dozens of trees 2-3 feet in diameter were uprooted or snapped in half, and boats, vehicles and RV campers were found with significant damage, but no other injuries were reported.
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