Cobb County

Community mourns classmate killed in freak accident while camping

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A birthday camping trip turned deadly after a tree fell on a teenager.

Joelle Dalgleish, 15, went to Harrison High School in Cobb County.

Channel 2's Chris Jose spoke to the teen's parents Sunday as well as some of her friends who witnessed the incident.

Dalgleish’s mother said she wants people to remember her daughter's smile and why she loved so many people.

At just 15, friends said Dalgleish affected so many lives.

On Friday, Dalgleish was celebrating a friend's 16th birthday with a camping trip at Red Top Mountain in Bartow County.

She was in a hammock when a tree snapped in half and landed on her.

“I was one of the girls sitting around the campfire and I saw the tree fall. I was the only one who saw it. The other girls were facing the other direction,” Erin O’Reilly said.


“We didn't know it hit Joelle, so we went over there, and we were like ‘Can you hear me?’ and that's when Kate said call 911 and that's when all the girls started coming out of their tents,” O’Reilly said.

Dalgleish died early Sunday morning.

At a vigil Sunday evening, there was not a dry eye in the room.

“She had already impacted so many lives, and this event impacts everyone so much more, just to make sure they hold on to everyone close. And just keep praying,” O’Reilly said.

One by one, friends reminisced about the good times, said that Dalgleish made a difference in their lives.

Dalgleish's mom said she had an infectious laugh and a beautiful spirit and soul.

Grief counselors were at the school all day Monday. A community vigil will take place Monday night.

Dalgleish's cross country coaches will hold a news conference at the high school Monday. 

We're going to the news conference to hear from her coaches.

Stay with and watch Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m. for updates.

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