A teenage girl died Monday after falling from a rope swing at a North Carolina youth camp.
Olivia Paige Grimes, 16, was riding a large pendulum swing when she suddenly detached and fell, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Local law enforcement officials told the Florida paper Grimes fell more 100 feet from the air.
“We do not yet know how this occurred,” a statement from the Carolina Point Young Life Camp said. “At the moment our focus is on those grieving over this tragic accident. This is a very sad day for all of us.” The statement also noted that staff at the camp had administered CPR to Grimes after the fall.
A native of Lakeland, Fla., Grimes was participating in the camp’s “Freebird” event, according to the Orlando Sentinel. She was with two other campers on a pendulum-like-device — essentially a large-scale swing where up to three people hang from a door-frame-shaped apparatus by ropes. “Freebird,” is one of several similar activities like zip lining and ropes courses offered at Carolina Point which is located on the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The camp is operated by Young Life, a Christian organization that hosts camp sessions of high school students.
All swings at Carolina Point and all other Young Life camps are closed until the cause of the accident is determined, the Carolina Point statement said. A spokesman for Youth Life said all rides at the organization’s camps, including swings, are subject to “strict protocols regarding upkeep of equipment as well as safety training and operating procedures,” the Greenville Online reported. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation told the Greenville Online that the swing had not previously been inspected as it did not meet the qualifications of an amusement ride, but inspectors will now review the device in the wake of Grimes’s death.
Local law enforcement is investigating the fall, the Associated Press reported. But early indications from both local deputies and the coroner’s office are that Grimes’s death was accidental, according to the AP. A local law enforcement official told the Greenville Online that there were two staffers supervising the ride when Grimes fell.
Grimes’s father is a pastor at the Oasis Community Church in Lakeland. In an online statement, the church expressed sorrow over Grimes’s death and asked that the public respect privacy of the Grimes family.
“Please keep them … in your prayers,” the statement said. “We are grateful for your love and support, which will continue to be needed in the weeks and months ahead.”