'Tragic Accident' Takes Life of Age 7 Girl Swinging in Hammock When Tree Uproots


Helicopter parenting sure has gotten more than its fair share of poor press. Popular media and scholarly publications alike have lambasted the practice of having over-eager moms and dads dote on their children’s every action.

Psychology Today noted that helicopter parenting increased children’s anxiety and hampered the development of independence. And I think all of that’s true.

Yet when I read some news stories, they make me want to tether myself to my own kiddos during their every waking moment. Just consider what happened to little Sabina Surjit Henderson on Sept. 22.

A 7-year-old from Virginia, Sabrina had joined her parents at a family gathering. According to Fox News, they’d all met at their grandparent’s Virginia home.

The second grader had joined an 8-year-old cousin in swinging on a hammock attached to an elm tree. Family members would later say that various children had swung on it all day.

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People reported that something awful happened in the late afternoon. In fact, it was so terrible — and so surprising — that no one could’ve seen it coming.

As Sabrina and her cousin swung back and forth on the hammock, the elm tree anchoring the hammock shifted. Then its roots ripped right out of the ground.

It swung forward and smashed to the earth. And beneath it lay the two young children.

Sabrina’s cousin was whisked to the hospital with various internal injuries. Physicians said that he should survive the trauma.

Tragically, the same couldn’t be said about Sabrina. WRC stated that the 7-year-old was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she later passed away from her injuries.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has said the recent rain in the area could have weakened the “very old” tree’s foundation.

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“All indications are that this is a tragic accident,” Public Information Officer Kraig Troxell explains. “There have been some questions about whether rain played a factor. I think there’s probably a couple of factors, but the ground is very soft right now.”

Her dad, Ben Henderson, released a heartbreaking statement. “Sabina was smart, witty girl who loved to tell jokes and make other people laugh,” it read.

“She was amazingly kind and thoughtful to her friends and family. Sabina was genuinely and completely loved by all that knew her.”

An intelligent child, Sabrina also loved music. According to her grandfather, she was a talented pianist.

“Her loss tore a giant hole in our lives that will never be mended,” her dad said in a statement. “We will never recover from this, we will only survive.”

Let’s all say a prayer for the Henderson family. I find it hard to think of any wound more hard to heal than the one they’ve received.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Wheaton College
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