Fallen Tree Kills Teen at House Party

A New Fairfield family was hosting an annual end of school party when the tree fell

A 13-year-old girl died after in a freak accident after a large tree fell on her during an end-of-school-year party at her family's house. 

Catherine Burke was attending the annual part at her Smoke Hill Drive home on the Danbury-New Fairfield town line Wednesday afternoon when a dead 50-foot tree fell over, police said.

Burke, a seventh-grade New Fairfield Middle School, was killed.

Another 13-year-old girl who attended the same school suffered a broken leg.

The victim’s parents, Joseph and Sarah Burke, held the end-of-school-year party for their daughter and her friends every year, neighbors said.

About a dozen girls were at the party and were too traumatized to speak to the Danbury Youth Bureau detectives who are investigating the accident, Danbury Police Sgt. Christian Carroccio told the Connecticut Post.

"It looks like it was a complete act of God. There was no horseplay going on,"  he said.

Those who knew Catherine describe her as a reserved young girl but a true role model for others.

"She was a wonderful girl. I have nothing but positive things to say about her," sixth-grade language arts teacher Sondra Oliveiri, who had Catherine in her class last year, told the newspaper.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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