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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

August 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM

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Girl killed by falling ice at Big Four Ice Caves identified

Posted by John de Leon

-- From Times staff reporter Christine Clarridge:

An 11-year-old girl who died on Saturday when she was struck by a large piece of ice near the Big Four Ice Caves has been identified as Grace Makato Tam of Lake Stevens.

Lt. Jeff Brand of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said the girl was struck by ice which broke off as she and her mother were standing on an ice field adjacent to the caves. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday the girl died of a crushing pelvic injury. Her death was ruled accidental.

Brand said the ice that killed the girl was the size of a Volkswagen bus. The girl's mother was also injured, but was able to walk out of the area on her own.

The Big Four Ice Caves is about 25 miles east of Granite Falls in Snohomish County. It's a popular destination, but Brand said people should enjoy the ice caves from afar and not go near them. There have been other accidents in the past, including the 1998 death of a Bothell woman, who was killed when ice collapsed on her near the entrance of the cave.

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