6-Year-Old Killed by Tree on Her Way to Share Candy With Brother

treeIt was a freak accident in the truest sense. Last Thursday 6-year-old Jala Johnson had managed to finagle some candy from her grandmother. Being a sweet and generous girl, she went outside to find her 15-year-old brother so she could share some of it with him. Only she was never able to do so.

Instead, The Columbus Dispatch reports that as she was walking through her grandmother's yard a large oak tree fell on her, and she was killed instantly. Just like that. There were no goodbyes, no final words, just a young life gone in an instant. My heart aches for her family who is preparing to bury her Friday.

It's stories like this that take my breath away, and could paralyze me with fear. But they also make me vow to be a better parent and make each precious moment with my children count, since we really can't count on anything when it comes to tragedy striking.

Especially now that school is back in session, and dance lessons have started again, and the baseball season is beginning, and an endless stream of other commitments gets underway, I feel the stress rising. I feel the laid back summer mom I was slowly getting lost under a sea of homework and laundry trying to keep those damn white uniform shirts clean.

But what does any of it really matter when things like this happen? Of course we can't throw all order and caution to the wind because of what might happen, what rarely happens, but it does make that little refrain of what if a little louder in my head. What if my child wasn't here tomorrow, would it matter that he went to school in a perfectly white shirt because I tackled those stains with vigor instead of sitting down and playing a game with him? Is it really that big of a deal if we miss a dance lesson here or there because we're just happy curled up on the couch?

There are a thousand different parenting decisions we make every day, and we won't always make the right ones. Sometimes we have to plan for the future instead of always living in the moment. But with thoughts of little Jala Johnson in my mind, I'm renewing my vow to make more decisions that I won't regret if one of those what ifs becomes a what is.

Do freak accidents like this make you rethink the way you parent your children?


Image via ell brown/Flickr



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nonmember avatar Rozetta dixon

My pray go out the family

Jill Lambert

my borther was also killed many, many years ago by a tree falling on him - he was 3 years old.  Tragic it was and my mom was pregnant with my twin brother and I, I am not so sure my older brother ever got over seeing it happen.  My heart goes out to this family. 

Katy Yañez

Every moment is special, don't waste time, let your loved ones know you love them and don't spend time being angry with each other! My thoughts are with this poor family. They had a very sweet little girl.

nonmember avatar MotoMom03

For 6 years I lived in the town where this happened, it is a small and close knit town. This story absolutely broke my heart, you could see the pain on the parents faces when sharing how precious their daughter was on the news. The newscaster said the family is taking donations for her funeral. How awful to lose your daughter in a tragic accident an then not have the money for a funeral. If anyone feels so inclined to make a donation, you can look up the news story on abc6onyourside.com, dispatch.com ir nbc4i.com and the info where to donate is in the news story.

nonmember avatar Barbie Runyon

That is horrible! It really does make me re-think somethings.My thought and prayers for the family of this little girl.

Debbie Stegemann

I will keep the family in my prayers God Bless you.Debbie Stegemann

Tammy Holliday Gearl

THIS is why I believe god doesnt exist. Why spare all the child molestors and murders and kill all the innocent people?!?! Just bullshit!

bigbl... bigblueeyes

so sad!......we lived not far from there for a while when dd was younger.....we were walking across the yard to my in-law's when i heard that unmistakable, horrific cracking of a tree top......we froze in our tracks and watched it fall.....had we been in the yard we would have been hurt or killed!

nonmember avatar Jacqueline Kolb

So heartbreaking :( Prayers of comfort in the most difficult of times.

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