UCSC student killed by fallen tree at Camp Tawonga near Yosemite

July 3, 2013 7:28:35 PM PDT
A woman was killed Wednesday when tree fell at Camp Tawonga, a Jewish youth sleepaway camp near Yosemite National Park.

Camp Tawonga officials confirmed that counselor Annais Rittenberg was killed when a tree fell outside the dining hall Wednesday morning. Four other adult staff members were injured and transported to area hospitals. Two have been released and two were still receiving care late Wednesday afternoon.

All of the children at the camp were inside the dining hall eating breakfast at the time of the accident. None were injured. Camp officials say the camp session will continue as planned.

Rittenberg was a student UC Santa Cruz, where she would have been starting her senior year in the fall. She was known on campus for her participation in a weekly radio show on the campus radio station KZSC. She was working at the camp as an art instructor. Her mother told ABC7 News Rittenberg loved nature.

"As our own hearts are still hurting, we send our sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones," Camp Tawonga Executive Director Ken Kramarz said in a statement relased Wednesday afternoon.

The camp is located in Tuolumne County, outside of the community of Groveland near Highway 120. Many of the children at the camp come from the Bay Area. Nathaniel Bergson-Michelson, a spokesperson for the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco says, "Our whole community's thoughts are with the camp."

The fallen tree did knock out power to part of the camp. Utility crews were working to restore power.

ABC7 News reporters David Louie and Nannette Miranda contributed to this report.


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