Local Teen Killed By Falling Tree in Teton Wilderness

The tree uprooted as hikers attempted to hang food in a “bear bag” in the tree, police said

By Lisa Balde
|  Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011  |  Updated 1:54 PM CDT
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Teen Killed By Falling Tree

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A Lake Forest teen was pronounced dead Monday in the Teton Wilderness after a 75-foot tree fell and struck her.

Elizabeth Burns, 16, was tending to camp equipment about 66 feet from the tree's base when the dead tree toppled, according to the Teton County Sheriff's Department. Burns suffered numerous injuries, according to police, but the suspected cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

The tree uprooted as members of her backpacking group attempted to hang food in a “bear bag” in the tree, the Sheriff's Department said. 

The Teton County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch center received a call at 2:45 p.m. Monday. Rescue workers flew onto the scene, about 50 miles northeast of Jackson, Wyo., via helicopter, but Burns never regained consciousness.

The other members of the camping group hiked out with the assistance of park rangers.

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