A Florida family is reeling after a freak accident killed their 9-year-old daughter, who was outside playing with friends when a palm tree toppled onto her.
Luna May Anderson was in the third grade, and was remembered Wednesday as a bright and shining child filled with life and love.
More than 100 relatives, friends and neighbors gathered to mourn her and were led in prayer by a local pastor, according to local reports.
Two other children were injured by the falling tree, but their conditions have not been made public. The accident happened last week as the kids played on an obstacle course strap stretched between two trees, authorities said. One toppled on top of Luna May, investigators said.
The trees had appeared healthy and stable, but one had internal rotting that was not evident until it fell, said authorities, who said there is no evidence of criminal neglect.
The girl’s father, Todd Anderson, said religious faith was helping the struggling family.
“Through God, I’ve been able to deal with it,” he told a local station.
Community support also helped, he said.
“We feel the love. It means the world to us because sometimes when we feel too weak, sometimes we just need that support to keep us going,” Anderson said.
Luna May was an accomplished gymnast who recited the Lord’s Prayer each night before climbing into bed.
She had just given her father an early Halloween card before she was killed.
“I opened it up and it said, ‘Daddy, I love you, you’re the best daddy in the world,'” the father recounted.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help with funeral costs.