Updated with identity of victim.
A group of teens told first responders they “heard a loud snap” before a tree at Meadowdale Beach Park fell and killed a 17-year-old girl walking with them, our online news partner The Seattle Times reported Friday night.
One tree started to fall, and then three others connected by the same rootball came crashing down, Lynnwood Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Blachly told The Times. The teens started to run, he said, but the one girl was struck and killed instantly by a 50- to 75-foot Douglas fir.
Blachly said the tree had to be cut into pieces with a power saw to lift it off the girl. He described the soil as “supersaturated” from rainstorms.
Officials will assess why the tree fell, though downed trees aren’t uncommon during high winds, especially with saturated soils. Some areas of the region Friday saw wind gusts up to 40 mph, the National Weather Service said.
Parks officials told The Times the incident occurred about a 10-minute walk down the wooded trail to the beach. The park, located at 6026 156th St. S.W., is operated by Snohomish County and is near the border of Edmonds and Lynnwood.