Girl struck by falling tree dies

A SIXTEEN-year-old girl succumbed to the internal injuries she sustained after a tree trunk in Camp John Hay fell on her.

A police report said the girl and her classmates, who had just completed junior high school, were relaxing beneath a tree on April 6 when part of the tree fell on her.

Allan Garcia, president of the John Hay Management Corporation, said in a statement that they were "deeply saddened by the accident that happened in Camp John Hay last April 6 involving a local tourist."

Garcia said Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDEVCO), lessee of the area where the unfortunate incident happened, “extended all possible assistance to the family by shouldering all hospital and funeral expenses.”

With the safety of tourists, workers, employees and the general public in mind, JHMC and CJHDEVCO shall take all precautionary measures to prevent similar accidents from happening again.

CJHDEVCO, in a statement, said attention is focused now on the family’s needs.

The family of the teen victim has refused to grant interviews and asked for privacy in their time of grief.

City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) head Ruben Cervantes said they have coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera (DENR-CAR) regarding the inventory procedures to be done following the recent directive of DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu to his regional staff.

“We have finished the joint inventory with DENR CAR on the pine trees within Camp John Hay and there are trees which are scheduled to be cut following the processing of the tree cutting permit which would be issued by the DENR,” Cervantes said.

The DENR regional office and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Baguio is presently conducting an investigation to determine why the tree was not cut and whether the John Hay management was liable.

DENR suggested the presence of warning signs in all trees that will be cut to prevent a recurrence of the incident.

Based on the present inventory of the DENR, permits have been issued to allow the cutting of 143 dead pine trees. The DENR is also processing permits to cut 100 other dead pine trees. (With a report from Maria Elena Catajan)


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