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December 20, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Lawsuit filed in death of girl in Snohomish County ice caves

Grace Tam

The family of an 11-year-old Lake Stevens girl who was killed last year when she was struck by an ice chunk at the Big Four Ice Caves in Snohomish County has filed a lawsuit in federal court.

The suit filed against the U.S. Forest Services alleges that signs at the Big Four Ice Caves near Verlot fail to adequately warn visitors of the potential danger from the kind of ice avalanche that killed Grace Tam. According to the suit, the Forest Service failed to maintain danger signs warning people of the risks of collapsing ice, snow and unstable caves along the trail.

“This is an avalanche zone and needs to be treated like one,” said attorney James McCormick, , who is representing the family. “Had the Forest Service done its job, Grace would be alive today.”

John Tam has said the park was promoted as family-friendly and he would never have taken his family to the caves in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest had he known of the danger.

John Tam, his wife Tamami, son William, Grace and two foreign exchange students from Japan had gone to the park on July 31, 2010. They were on the ice fields, outside the ice caves, when a chunk of ice the size of a car rolled down the mountain and struck Grace, crushing her pelvis

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Big Four Ice Caves, Lake Stevens, lawsuit

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