Lakeland, Florida Teen Dies after falling from Ropes Course

| July 16, 2015

Lakeland Florida

LAKELAND — Authorities are investigating the death of a Florida teenager who died after falling from a high ropes course at a camp on the South Carolina-North Carolina border, officials said Tuesday.

Pickens County Deputy Coroner Gary Duncan said Olivia Paige Grimes, 16 of Lakeland, died at about 6 p.m. Monday after falling out of a zip line swing at Carolina Point Camp in Sunset.

According to Pickens County deputies, the teen was part of a group participating in an event called the “Freebird” and was attached to a large pendulum swing along with two other participants. But Grimes became unhooked from the swing and fell more than 100 feet to the ground, deputies said. Her body has been sent to a hospital for an autopsy, according to the coroner’s office, which also said the death was accidental.

In their own statement, deputies said they are investigating the fall, which they said appears to have been accidental. No one else was injured, and authorities said the ride was supervised by two camp employees.

Camp officials told the sheriff’s office the “Freebird” course is closed during an investigation and inspection of all its equipment.

The camp on Sassafras Mountain straddles the border between North and South Carolina and is run by Young Life, a Christian youth organization. Deputies said Sunset offers a weeklong program for teenagers, providing team-building exercises including ropes courses and rides through wooded areas.

In a statement posted online, camp officials said they don’t yet know what happened. They say they place the safety of campers and guests as a top priority.

“At the moment our focus is on those grieving over this tragic accident,” the statement said. “This is a very sad day for all of us.”

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