UPDATED: Redding woman, 37, killed by rolling log at Shasta Lake ID’d

UPDATED: Thursday, Sept. 6, 7:51 p.m., With coroner’s release of victim’s name

SHASTA LAKE — Officials have released the identity of a Redding woman who died after she was struck and crushed by a large log her friends had rolled down a hill while visiting Woods Island, on the Pit River Arm of Shasta Lake. Authorities are calling the fatal incident a “tragic event,” and Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit’s investigation into the deadly accident is ongoing.

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Shasta County Coroner officials later identified 37-year-old, Kelle Lauree Clark, as the woman fatally crushed early Sunday evening, Sept. 2.

Deputies from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the island near a cove in the Jones Valley area at 7:07 p.m., after receiving reports of a woman crushed by a log. The 911 caller reported that witnesses at the scene were trying to resuscitate the victim, without success.

One of the witnesses on a personal water craft met responding deputies at the Pit River Bridge and led them to the victim on the north side of the island.

When deputies arrived they saw several witnesses and good Samaritans along the water’s edge surrounding Clark and performing CPR. Once deputies reached the shore they relieved the citizens and took over life-saving efforts.

Based on the circumstances, deputies requested an air ambulance to the scene and moved Clark to a sheriff’s patrol boat. Once she was loaded onto the boat, deputies rushed her to Mariners Point to meet the incoming air ambulance.

County Fire and AMR personnel arrived on scene just before the life-flight helicopter arrived and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene.

The Shasta County Coroner was contacted around 8 p.m., and eventually took custody of the victim’s body.

The following day, Boating Safety Unit deputies and a coroner investigator continued their investigation and interviewed additional witnesses to the prior day’s fatal incident.

During those interviews officials learned Clark was at Woods Island with several other people, including Timothy Williams, 43, John Hoeppner, 42, Caroline Lewis, 42, Christopher Wynia, 22, Nicholas Lendman, 40, and Darcey Prior, 41.

According to deputies, the witnesses all reported they were with Clark when the accident happened and that the group had decided to go “log rolling” just before the deadly incident.

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After arriving on the north side of the island, Wynia and Lendman went to the top of an embankment where they found a large log. Despite their efforts, the pair was unable to dislodge the log and send it rolling down the embankment. The victim and Lewis exited a boat they were in and began walking up the steep embankment “well to the right of the log’s intended path to the water” SCSO officials later explained.

As Clark and Lewis were walking up the hill, Wynia and Lendman managed to knock the log loose, causing it to begin rolling down the embankment. As the large log was rolling it struck a number of stumps and large rocks “which changed the log’s path,” SCSO wrote of the incident. 

“Lendman and Wynia yelled at the victim and Lewis to warn them,” SCSO continued. “Lewis was able to move from the log’s path, but the victim could not.”

Clark was subsequently struck by the log and killed by the tremendous impact.

According to officials, the victim’s family has been notified and a postmortem has been scheduled by the coroner’s office. The incident remains under investigation by SCSO’s Boating Safety Unit.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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