Air Force investigating teen girl's death - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Air Force investigating teen girl's death

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - An investigation is underway at Andersen Air Force Base to determine the circumstances that led to a 13-year-old girl's death. Family and friends are mourning the death of the teen, who died after sustaining serious head trauma after an accident at the Yigo air base on Sunday afternoon. 

AAFB rescue officials responded to the injured girl and met up with Guam Fire Department medics in Dededo, who brought her to the Guam Memorial Hospital. GMH nursing supervisor Sally Quichocho says the minor sustained significant head trauma from a hiking related accident and CPR was performed in an attempt to save her life. 

The teen was pronounced dead at 5:45 last night. 

USAF Sergeant Mike Andriacco confirmed the minor was a dependent of an active duty Air Force member. Andersen AFB issued a statement, writing, "The 36th Wing would like to express our condolences to the family for their tragic loss. The family respectfully asks for privacy during this time of mourning." The Air Force has yet to release any specific information about where the girl was hiking.

Guam Boonie Stompers president Dave Lotz says yesterday's tragic incident is one of the first hiking related deaths that he can recall in almost a decade. The tragedy is a reminder to those who venture out to explore Guam's jungles and terrain that safety must be a priority. He told KUAM News, "Don't do something that you're clearly beyond what you're capable of doing and as in all outdoor activity, there's a certain amount of risk involved. You have to be aware of let's say, loose terrain, slippery mud, particularly also these days, if you're along the shoreline, you have the hazardous surf warning."

Lotz says aside from ensuring you have the proper footwear and gloves to protect yourself from sharp rocks or prickly plants, it's also a good idea to go with at least three people. If you want to learn about Guam's terrain, he suggests going with larger groups like the Guam Boonie Stompers. "You need to be aware of potential risks and other things that are unanticipated. They're always slippery mud, loose rocks, but don't over exceed your capabilities," he added.

"In a tropical environment, the days the hot tropical sun can really wear on you and some people have bigger expectations than they can realistically achieve."

The biggest tip: if you plan to venture out to explore the island is use common sense. It could just save your life.

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