22 Aug 2014
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Cary Parents Recall Allison Spahr as Gracious, Caring — a 'Cheerful Sweetheart'

The 10-year-old Cary girl was killed this past weekend after a tree fell on her family's tent while they were camping in Wisconsin.

Cary Parents Recall Allison Spahr as Gracious, Caring — a 'Cheerful Sweetheart'
Ten-year-old Allison Spahr — who was killed in a "freak accident" early Sunday when a tree fell on her while camping — is being described by family as a "cheerful sweetheart" who loved puzzles, reading and was part of a tight-knit local family, according to media reports. 

Spahr's mother, Barb, told the Daily Herald their family was Christian and chose to homeschool their children. Allison was the youngest of the Spahr's five children. 

The Cary family attends Harvest Bible Chapel in Crystal Lake and are now leaning on their faith to help deal with Allison's tragic death, Allison's father Kevin Spahr told NBC Chicago. 

Allison was killed early Sunday after a storm knocked a tree onto the tent she was sleeping in at Devil's Lake State Park, a popular Wisconsin camping area in Baraboo, which is about 40 miles northwest of Madison. 

She was sharing the tent with her brother and father when the tree came toppling down at about 4 a.m. Sunday. The tree also pinned her father and caused minor injuries to her 14-year-old brother, who was able to climb out on his own from the tent. 

Kevin Spahr, 51, of Cary, told CBS Chicago he heard some creaking during the storm and about 30 seconds later, there was a "loud crash, boom on the ground" and his legs became pinned, the tent was flattened across his face and he didn't hear anything from his daughter

The tree landed across Allison's chest and the coroner told Kevin Spahr its believed she never woke up, according to NBC Chicago. 

Spahr, who is recovering from his leg injury in Cary, referred to his daughter as a gracious and caring girl who, when he was frustrated or at his worst, would give him " a hug and tell me she loved me," according to CBS Chicago.

With news of the incoming storms, Spahr said he'd considered cutting the family's four-day camping trip short on Saturday but Allison  persuaded him to let them stay, the Daily Herald reports. 

The tree that fell during the Sunday storm had passed a twice-a-year inspection required under Wisconsin State law and DNR officials said it showed no signs of weakness "during regularly scheduled campground inspections," according to the Wisconsin State Journal. 

Park supervisor Steve Schmelzer told the Wisconsin State Journal wind forced the tree down, breaking some roots and leveling a mature tree and shearing another tree. The newspaper reports a branch about 9 inches in diameter landed on the Spahr's tent. 

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