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Utah girl dies in 'freak' trampoline accident

Published August 17, 2013 11:50 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Panguitch girl died from injuries she received this week after a freak gust of wind carried away a backyard trampoline she was on.

Cheryl Church, a spokeswoman for the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, said 9-year-old Oaklee Sidwell died Wednesday morning at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Oaklee was flown to the hospital from her home in Panguitch on Tuesday.

Church said the girl had been playing on the trampoline with her cousins that day. Oaklee later sat on the trampoline to put her shoes on when a large gust of wind lifted the trampoline off the ground, carrying it and the girl about 50 yards before she was dropped. Church said the trampoline was anchored underground and described the girl's death as a "freak accident."

"This is nobody's fault," she said.

An obituary for Oaklee states that a funeral for the girl will be held Saturday at the LDS Stake Center in Panguitch. A viewing was held at the stake center on Friday.

The entire community of Panguitch — even much of Garfield County — has been impacted by the girl's loss, Church said.

"So many people are feeling heartbreak for [the family]," Church said. "It's hard to even wrap your head around it."

Oaklee's obituary states that she loved animals and enjoyed bottle feeding lambs and calves.

"Oaklee was here with us for nine wonderful years and was so full of life," the obituary reads. "She lived it to the fullest and shared her happiness with everyone around her."

An account for her family, parents Tracy and Desiree Sidwell and two brothers, has been set up in Oaklee's name at Zions Bank.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion