GROVELAND (CBS13) — One counselor was killed and four others were injured after a large oak tree fell Wednesday at a Jewish summer camp near Yosemite National Park.

The tree fell around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on a campfire circle near the Camp Tawonga dining hall, where children were eating breakfast.

No children were hurt at the camp, located on 160 acres in Groveland within the Stanislaus National Forest.

All of the children have been accounted for and the camp continues to provide services for them.

Parents were notified and some rushed to pick up their children. However, most of the campers remain, doing activities situated far from the deadly accident.

The tree also took down some PG&E power lines, forcing the camp to run on generators as crews work to restore the power.

Two female staff members were treated and released from Sonora Regional Medical Center, spokeswoman Gail Witzelsteiner said.

The extent of their injuries is not known at this time.

Two staff members were also life-flighted by helicopter to two different Modesto hospitals. Counselor Cara Sheeny has reportedly been transferred out of the ER at Sutter Memorial Medical Center and is said to be in good condition. Meanwhile Elizabeth “Lizzie” Moore is said to be in good condition at the Doctors Medical Center.

Camp Tawonga Executive Director Ken Kramarz identified the four injured adults as Moore, Sheedy, Juliet Ulibarri, and Anya Schultz. He says their families have been notified. Kramarz also identified the killed staff member as Annais Rittenberg.

According to Rittenberg’s Facebook profile, she was from New York City and was majoring in environmental conversation at UC, Santa Cruz.

Camp Tawonga has been operating since 1925. There are about 300 campers and 150 staff at the facility for kids in 2nd grade through 10th grade.

The co-ed residential camp primarily serves the Bay Area Jewish community and says its mission is to foster self-esteem, appreciation for nature and positive Jewish identity.


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