Popular hiking trail remains closed after 17-year-old girl killed by falling tree

EDMONDS, Wash. -- Snohomish County deputies on Friday night were investigating a tragic accident in which a large tree toppled over, crushing and killing a 17-year-old girl who was hiking with friends in Meadowdale Beach Park in Edmonds.

According to Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies, a 17-year-old girl was walking with a group of friends off the main trail when the tree fell.

“We were dispatched at around 2:45,” said Leslie Hynes with Snohomish County Fire District. "She was part of about seven teenagers that were hiking in the park.”

The identity of the victim was not released pending notification of relatives.

Deputies said at one point that her friends tried to lift the heavy tree off of the girl, but they couldn’t do it. She died in the park.

“The trail goes down to the beach and I was told she was about half way down from the parking lot,” said Hynes.

Hikers told Q13 News that even when there’s severe weather, the park is usually never closed.

“Our trees here are really, really tall and our wind is really, really bad sometimes,” said hiker Megan Miles.

Not to mention, according to Miles, walking the park itself can sometimes be a bit treacherous.

“It’s a mile and a half each way, but it’s hilly, said Miles. “There’s a lot of uphill and a lot of downhill.”

For now, the park remains closed while police investigate the horrible accident. Park officials plan on having the trailhead open by Sunday.

In the meantime, investigators are working to learn more about whether the rain and wind may have played a role in causing the tree to fall and if others along the trail are in danger of falling.