Joelle Dalgleish (Credit: Hoya Cross County Facebook Page)

High school student struck by tree while camping dies

UPDATE: Harrison High School said on its webpage Monday that is offering counselors and a crisis team from the Cobb County School District to talk with students about the death of Joelle Dalgleish. 

“Understanding and coping with the death of a classmate can be a very difficult experience,” the school’s principal Ashlynn Campbell wrote. “I hope that you will take some time to speak with your students and discuss with them their feelings and reactions to this tragedy.

“On behalf of all members of the Harrison staff, our deepest condolences are with the Dalgleish family and friends during this difficult time,” Campbell said in the post.  

Friends held a candlelight vigil for the teen on Sunday and a second gathering is being discussed for Monday night.

Read more about how Harrison High students remembered Joelle Dalgleish, here.

STORY: A Harrison High School student who was injured when a tree fell on her Friday during a camping trip in Bartow County was pronounced dead midday Sunday.

Joelle Dalgleish, 16, was hurt when the tree holding the hammock in which she was sleeping snapped and fell on her around 11:30 p.m. at Red Top Mountain State Park.

“Joelle was one of the sweetest and happiest people you will ever meet,” said Harrison track coach Kent Simmons, for whom Dalgleish had run track since she was a freshman in 2015. “She laughed easily and loved cracking a joke. Everyone loved her spirit and the way she could make you immediately feel comfortable around her.

“The Harrison community is very sad about losing her,” he told WSB Channel 2 Action News in an email. 

Bartow County Coroner Joel T. Guyton confirmed Dalgleish’s passing Sunday afternoon. He was awaiting paperwork on her passing from Erlanger Medical Center, where she was transported by Bartow County EMS.

Friends of the teen, whose mother Patty is a third grade teacher at Lewis Elementary School in west Cobb County, expressed sorrow on Facebook for her death and offered prayers to the family.


It's so hard to make sense out of life when a young person is taken too soon. Our hearts are hurting for our Hoya...

Posted by Robin Gantek on Sunday, May 21, 2017

“It's so hard to make sense out of life when a young person is taken too soon,” wrote Robin Gantek. “Our hearts are hurting for our Hoya family, the Harrison Cross Country Team, and the family and friends of Joelle Dalgleish. There are no words but we offer our prayers to all who know and love her.”

“It hurts my heart to think that someone so young being involved in something that was purely an accident,” wrote Joan Norton Johnson. “Praying earnestly for the family and the entire Harrison HS family at this time.

When Dalgleish was taken to the hospital, her injuries reportedly included a fractured skull and spinal damage. Later reports indicated that she might have been suffering from swelling in her brain.  

Throughout the weekend, supporters reached out to each other for comfort. 


“One of our XC family was seriously injured last night when a tree fell on her,” the tweet said. “Prayers needed for Joelle Dalgleish.”

Friends also posted messages of support on Facebook.


Please pray for this young lady! Her mom is a teacher at my school!

Posted by Amanda Richelle Lovett on Saturday, May 20, 2017

“Please pray for this young lady! Her mom is a teacher at my school!” posted Amanda Richelle Lovett. 

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