A trail guide at Brown County State Park was killed when an 80-foot tree fell on her as she led a tour Sunday afternoon.
The Department of Natural Resources said Chelsea Ann Lovett, 20, of Granger, was riding a horse and leading a guided ride that began at the saddle barn on the north end of the park.
"Shortly into the ride, a dead tree fell, catching the limb of a second tree that then fell and struck the victim," said DNR Sgt. Paul Bykowski.
Lovett was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another person was taken to Bloomington Hospital suffering from minor injuries after that person was thrown from a horse during the incident.
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 Herald-Times of Bloomington that his daughter loved animals and was working at an ideal job for her.
"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."
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 now."
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