9-Year-Old Girl Was Killed by Falling Tree as Her Family Tried to Flee Storm: 'She Touched Every Life She Met'

·3 min read
Hallie Oldham
Hallie Oldham

Go Fund Me Hallie Oldham

Authorities have released the name of the 9-year-old girl who died in Maine last week during a powerful storm.

The child, identified as Hallie Oldham, was sitting inside her family's car at the Sebago Lake Campground with her younger sister and mother when a falling tree struck the vehicle, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Saturday.

"At the time, Jarod and Jennifer Oldham were preparing to leave the campground with their children to escape the storm," they shared. However, before the family got a chance to do so, "two large pine trees were uprooted by strong winds."

One tree hit the awning of the family's camper and "crushed" their truck, while the "second tree struck the vehicle occupied by Hallie, her younger sister, and her mother."

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"Given the extent of destruction surrounding the Oldham's vehicles and their campsite, this horrific tragedy also proved to be a miracle that the rest of the family survived this incident," the sheriff's office wrote.

"The public safety community joins our local communities in showing support for the Oldham family in their time of tremendous grief," they wrote.

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Hallie was an athlete and played basketball at the Maine Basketball Club gym in Lewiston, according to CBS affiliate WGME.

"She had no fear," the club told the outlet in a statement. "She was everything you want in a teammate and player: smart, gritty, a team player and extremely kind-hearted."

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In addition to the spirit she showed on the court, Hallie was remembered as having a "kind heart" and a "bright smile."

"Hallie was so pleasant to be around. Her positive energy was contagious," the Poland Parks and Recreation Department wrote in a social media tribute. "You can tell she loved sports and poured her all into performing and trying. We will miss her kind heart, bright smile and determination on and off the field/court."

The fatal accident occurred on July 21 at Sebago Lake Campground in Standish.

In their initial statement, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said that "emergency response to the campground was difficult, given numerous road blockages in nearly every direction" due to heavy wind and rain.

"The area around the victim's campsite sustained heavy damage from multiple trees, including damage to their camper and complete destruction of two vehicles on their campsite," the authorities wrote.

"Emergency responders, family members, and campground patrons worked quickly clearing away multiple trees using chain saws, tractors, and a jaws of life tool to extricate the victim," they added, noting that the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

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A message shared on a GoFundMe set up to help support the Oldham family described Hallie as a "beautiful living angel."

"In her short 9 years, she touched every life she met," the message read. "Her smile, laughter and kindness for all were contagious and will be missed by all."

As of Tuesday, the page has raised over $69,000.