U.C. Santa Cruz Student Remembered For Love Of Nature After Tree Falls On Her

TUOLUMNE COUNTY (CBS13) — Annais Rittenberg recently discovered she was a naturalist, helping out as a staff member at Camp Tawonga in Tuolumne County.

“At Camp Tawonga, she did not sleep in a cabin,” her mother, Penelope, said. “Nope, she brought a tent. She had a furry carpet she put down, she had a bookshelf, she had Christmas lights on a battery, she had a hammock. That’s how she slept.

The U.C. Santa Cruz student was killed Wednesday when a large oak tree fell on her at the camp. It happened at the campfire circle outside the dining hall while kids were eating their breakfast.

Annais was majoring in environmental studies. She worked at the college radio station and had her own show called “Global Grooves.”

“Annais was very outgoing,” said Michael Bryant, the broadcast adviser at the school. “She was light-hearted—always could rely on her to pick the spirits up around the station.”

Her memories, etched in the minds of those who love her. No one more so than her mother, who says her daughter had already experienced enough tragedy in her life.

“This child was in a car accident nearly two years ago,” Penelope said. “She was hit on the campus in a crosswalk at Santa Cruz, 40 miles an hour, and she flipped through, so here she survives that, and she’s felled by a tree.”

Four other adults were injured in the accident, two are still in the hospital in good condition. The other two were treated and released.

None of the children were injured in the accident.

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