Two teenagers will serve three years’ jail after they pushed a 33-kilogram log off a cliff which killed a mother who was taking photos below.
Jordan Buckley and Jaden Churchheus, both 17, have admitted in court they pushed a log off a cliff at Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park in the US state of Ohio on September 2, 2019.
Victoria Schafer, a 44-year-old married mother of four, was taking photos below the cliff’s edge when the log “fell from the sky” and struck her in the head, killing her.
Both teens pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and were sentenced to three years’ jail in juvenile detention on Friday (local time).
Miranda Spencer, who was at the park with the two boys and another teenage girl, was recently indicted on a felony obstruction charge.
She also testified in court as part of the cases against both boys. She previously told the court the boys pushed the log off the cliff “did it to be funny”, The Chillicothe Gazette reported.
She added that Buckley told the other boy there was no one below before the log was pushed.
Ms Spencer also told investigators the two boys “didn’t care” as they left the park that day. This was after a man in the park told them the log had killed a woman.
A teen, who was present when Ms Schafer died, said in a statement in court filmed by 10WBNS that she saw the log crash down the cliff and hit the mum in the head.
She told the court she tried to help the woman.
“As I bent down, the horrifying visions in my head are something that I have nightmares about every night,” she told the court.
She added “for months afterwards” she couldn’t sleep and no longer takes hikes in the woods.
One of the teens with Victoria Schafer on the day she died shares the trauma of seeing the crime happen. pic.twitter.com/H2ujIPw9DM— Brittany Bailey (@BrittBaileyTV) October 16, 2020
In a heartbreaking post on Facebook, Ms Schafer’s husband Fritz wrote: “hold on to those you love as long as you can”.
“Victoria was truly one of a kind and I was blessed to be her husband,” he wrote in a separate post days after her death.
“She died doing what she loved to do.”
with The Associated Press
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