Teen killed in camp accident


SUNSET — A Florida teen died Monday after falling more than 100 feet from a rope course swing at a youth camp in northern Pickens County.

Olivia Paige Grimes, 16, of Lakeland, Fla., was pronounced dead at the scene of the fall at Carolina Point Young Life Camp, Pickens County deputy coroner Gary Duncan said.

According to Pickens County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Creed Hashe, Grimes was attached to a large pendulum swing with two other participants as part of a camp event called “Freebird” when she became unattached and fell 100-120 feet to the ground. No one else was injured, although several other camp participants witnessed the fall.

Hashe said the ride was supervised by two staff employees at the time of the accident.

Carolina Point officials told sheriff’s office investigators the “Freebird” course will remain out of operation pending the outcome of the investigation and a complete inspection of all equipment.

The camp, which is located on Sassafras Mountain at the border of South Carolina and North Carolina, offers a weeklong program targeted to teens and provides various team-building exercises throughout the week, including courses involving ropes and rides through wooded areas along the mountainside.

Carolina Point officials issued a statement on the camp’s website Tuesday.

“All of us at Carolina Point and across Young Life grieve with this young woman’s family and friends,” the statement read. “We do not yet know how this occurred. At the moment, our focus is on those grieving over this tragic accident. This is a very sad day for all of us. The safety of campers and guests is our highest priority at Young Life Camps.”