Sleeping girl, 8, dies when tree falls on Oregon home

OTIS, Ore. (KOIN) — A tree fell onto a house late Tuesday night, killing an 8-year-old girl who was sleeping in the same room with her younger sister.


Zaylee Schlecht, the daughter of North Lincoln Fire Department volunteer firefighter Ryan Schlecht, was asleep when the tree came down on her house in Otis around 11:15 p.m. Otis is a few miles northeast of Lincoln City.

Zaylee, third grader at Taft Elementary, was initially trapped, then rushed to a hospital. She was pronounced dead at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.

About 18 firefighters — including her father — arrived at the house, 509 North Deer Lane Drive, to lift and cut tree limbs to free Zaylee.

Her mother, Melissa Hoag, and two brothers were also in the house. Neither they nor Zaylee’s younger sister were injured.

“We care about our people. You know it’s a family that was devastated in the middle of the night by this event,” Capt. Kusz with North Lincoln Fire Department told KOIN-TV. “We sent out our chaplain to be with the family at this time and we’ll be doing a critical stress debriefing with our people as well.”

The Red Cross is helping the family with temporary housing.

Grief counselors will be available at Taft Elementary on Thursday to help students cope with the tragedy.

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