Family speaks out after tree falls on, injures children during party

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-17 19:40:07-04

What started out as a birthday celebration ended with three children in the hospital after a tree fell on them.

Family and friends have identified the children as 10-year-old Tyrik Garlow, 13-year-old Quantravion Guillory, and 11-year-old Aaron Washington. 

It happened on East South Street in Opelousas.

As of Sunday night, we’re told Tyrik was transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge is in critical condition, Quantravion is in surgery, and Aaron is in stable condition. 

"All of a sudden, we just heard ‘boom,’ and the tree fell," said Louise Washington, whose granddaughter was celebrating her birthday.

Another man at the party was struck by a branch but was treated at the scene with minor injuries.

"It knocked me out first, and all I saw was a little boy. He tried to talk, and I told him, ‘Don’t talk; just be quiet,’ and I lifted him up. And, I just picked him up, and I just threw the branch to the other side, and I lifted him up and threw him in my dad’s truck," he said.  

At the time, wind gusts were nearly 40 miles per hour in Opelousas.

Family and friends there say it was a random gust of wind, not even rain.

One witness said the wind picked up Tyrik and knocked him over onto the concrete, hitting his head.

The two others were hit and trapped under "heavy" falling tree limbs.

"When we ran outside, we saw kids on the ground. It took a lot of us to get those branches off those kids. They were bleeding from their head and mouth. Everybody started calling 911, and nobody showed up," said Washington.

People at the party transported the children to the hospital themselves. Now, they have questions about response times.

"I went to the hospital with those kids, came back, no ambulance; nobody had responded. It took us to go driving and walking outside and finding people. You know, it’s hard to see a baby– have you ever just seen a child just dying, bleeding?" said Washington, still emotional about the tragedy.

It’s a sight that shocked everyone at the party, and now, they are hoping the children will recover.

"They’re bandaged up like mummies. You don’t even recognize them; it’s hard! That’s sad," exclaimed Washington.

We reached out to Acadian Ambulance. A supervisor told us St. Landry EMS was the responding company. St. Landry EMS says they have no record of the call.