NASHVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A 20-year-old horse trail guide at southern Indiana’s
Brown County State Park was killed when she was hit by a tree limb torn down
by another falling tree, authorities said.
Chelsea Lovett of Granger in northern Indiana was on horseback leading a
ride Sunday afternoon when a dead 80-foot tree fell down along her path, The
Herald-Times of Bloomington reported. Lovett died at the scene and a second
rider was thrown from a horse and taken to a hospital with minor injuries,
state conservation officers said.
Lovett was a wildlife management major at Purdue University and Penn High
School graduate who had taken the spring semester off to work at the state
park’s horse stables.
Robert Lovett told the newspaper that his daughter died doing what she
“It could have happened to anyone. She was the leader of the group,” he
said. “She was a happy kid, especially in this job. She loved animals. This
was the ideal situation for her. It was a tragic accident.”
Conservation Sgt. Paul Bykowski said it wasn’t clear what destabilized the
tree that fell. It was partly cloudy with wind gusts of about 20 mph at that
time, according to the National Weather Service.
The horse that Lovett was riding was injured and had to be euthanized.
Rick Rectanuf, a neighbor of the Lovett family, said his 12-year-old
daughter looked up to Chelsea Lovett.
“Who knows why a tree falls in the middle of the forest on a perfect Sunday
afternoon,” Rectanuf said. “Who knows? Maybe she is riding off to heaven