Environmentalist Camp Counselor Killed By Falling Oak

From the Associated Press:  

An art counselor at a Jewish summer camp popular with San Francisco Bay Area families was killed when a large oak tree fell on her. Four other adults were injured, but no children were harmed.

Annais Rittenberg, 21, an environmental studies major at the University of California, Santa Cruz, died Wednesday at Camp Tawonga near Yosemite National Park, camp officials said.

The four other adults were treated at hospitals after the tree fell while the children were eating breakfast. The tree took down power lines near the campfire area and dining hall but did not damage any buildings.

Because of the nearby power lines, authorities said Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was responsible for annual inspections of the oak tree. Tuolumne County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jim Oliver said PG&E had inspected the tree and found nothing wrong with it, calling is a “freak accident.”

PG&E spokeswoman Nicole Liebelt said there is an annual inspection process, but she didn’t know whether specific records were kept for the tree that fell. She said the utility will closely cooperate with investigators.

The camp’s executive director, Ken Kramarz, called Rittenberg a “beloved member of our staff.”

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