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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Ridgway girl dies in Garden of the Gods fall

  • A 12-year-old fell about 100 feet to her death from the Chimney Rock area of Garden of the Gods Recreation Area Friday evening.
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  • A 12-year-old fell about 100 feet to her death from the Chimney Rock area of Garden of the Gods Recreation Area Friday evening.
    Jennifer Weiland, 12, Ridgway, fell and Saline County Central Dispatch received a 911 call 5:50 p.m.
    Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Saline County EMS and Equality Fire Department responded to the location on the main Observation Trail, according to a release from Saline County Coroner Jerry Watson.
    Watson pronounced Weiland dead at the scene.
    Weiland’s parents are Jeremiah Weiland of Harrisburg and Rachel Lynch of Ridgway.
    Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, May 24 at Cox & Son Funeral Home in Ridgway with visitation 11 a.m. until service time.
    According to obituary information Weiland was a fun-loving sixth-grader who enjoyed swimming, biking, singing in church and riding with her father on his motorcycle.
    Watson said he was surprised to find out from Saline County Central Dispatch there are 10 to 12 falls from the park’s bluff’s each year.
    “It’s a beautiful place, but a dangerous place,” he said.
    Most of the falls result in broken bones or head injuries, but not fatalities and most involve adults.
    “It sure affects us when it affects these children,” he said.
    Gallatin County School Superintendent Lucinda Schmitt said grief counselors from Wabash Ohio Valley Special Education District and Egyptian Health Department were set up at the school by 7 a.m. to help pupils. Among the projects were banners that pupils could sign.
    “They have lots of projects to help them express their feelings,” Schmitt said.
    The accident remains under investigation by the Saline County Coroner’s Office, Saline County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service.

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