Two young siblings were killed when a falling tree landed on their golf cart at a campground in Owen County, Indiana.
According to reports, the children have been identified as Xander Clark, 9, and his sister Ziva Clark, 8, both straight-A students at Robey Elementary School. Owen County Sheriff’s Office told how deputies were called to the Indian Oaks Campground in Taylor Township this weekend shortly after 2 p.m., though the siblings died at the scene.
Family members released a statement on Tuesday afternoon in memory of their “perfect children”, stating that a memorial foundation has been set up on behalf of Xander and Ziva to “serve as a way to support the activities they enjoyed most, and were near and dear to their hearts.”
The smiles tell you everything about these beautiful souls! They lived life full of joy! A beautiful tribute from the family of Xander and Ziva Clark and a way to help the family is on my Facebook page. Please pray for this special family. @FOX59 pic.twitter.com/rH7p2IyjxC
— Angela Ganote (@angelaganote) April 26, 2022
As per the Herald Times, strong winds were responsible for the toppling of a large dead tree. Owen County Coroner Angi Frank said the children had died from blunt force trauma.
The family’s statement read: “Our perfect children, Alexander “Xander”, age 9, and Ziva Clark, age 8, the beloved son and daughter of Brian and Crystal Clark, passed away April 23, 2022. Both were exemplary straight-A students at Robey Elementary School. Xander was in 3rd grade Horizons and Ziva was in 2nd grade.
Xander excelled in martial arts and was a 4th Level 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. He was also a talented basketball player and practiced every single day despite the weather. He was an enthusiastic Pacers fan and dreamed of being a professional basketball player and a part-time meteorologist. In his spare time, Xander loved to fish and soak in the outdoors.
Ziva was a competitive gymnast at Westside Gymnastics. She practiced daily on her balance beam and bars to perfect her routines. She was 1st Place All Around and placed 4th in State Competition. She devoted her time to mastering her skills so she could be an Olympic gymnast or a professional snowboarder. Ziva excelled in many gymnastic events and won many competitions this year. Ziva also loved throwing Xander’s fish back into the pond after he caught them, however she would always kiss them before she sent them back to the water.
Along with their parents, survivors include grandparents John and Carol Clark. Mr. Clark is a longtime Wayne Township teacher and Athletic Director who touched many lives during his career. His wife Carol is always by his side and devoted just as much time to the township; Grandparents Lori and Kevin Marsh, who are extraordinary and loving grandparents loved them beyond the stars and always helped expand their minds in every way possible and Grandparents Alan and Suzanne Driver. Alan is a Retired IMPD Police Officer/Motorcycle Officer. He and his wife Suzanne, have always put their family before all else and do anything for any family at the drop of a hat. Many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins are left behind to cherish the memories of Xander and Ziva and share their stories of how two young beautiful kids impacted their lives. A Memorial Service to honor their legacies will be held later on in the week.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial foundation has been established on behalf of Xander and Ziva at the Professional Police Officers Credit Union located at 1502 Washington St., Indianapolis, IN. This will serve as a way to support the activities they enjoyed most, and were near and dear to their hearts. This includes, but is not limited to, Westside Gymnastics, The Way Martial Arts, and Robey Elementary, as well as any future needs in support of Brian, Crystal, Xander, and Ziva. Additionally, a Mealtrain is available for you to you share a meal through GrubHub as a gift from your family to theirs. Please continue to keep the Clark and Driver Families in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”
The parents of Xander and Ziva, who were driving the golf cart their children were riding in, were not injured when the tree fell. A second vehicle was said to have been “heavily damaged” in the incident.
A Mealtrain has been set up to support the family at this most difficult of times.
“Please continue to keep the Clark and Driver Families in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time,” a statement from the family reads.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Clark family. I can’t begin to imagine how one digests such a freak accident that claims the lives of not one, but two innocent children.