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Wayne Township mom on a mission after losing two kids in campground accident

xander and ziva.png
Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 18:43:29-05

WAYNE TOWNSHIP — Crystal Clark thinks of her two children, 9-year-old Xander and 8-year-old Ziva every day.

clark family

Xander was full of fun facts.

"Every time we would drive down to the campground, it would be an hour drive, he'd be like 'Mommy did you know? Mommy did you know this? ' So I learned a lot from him," Clark said. "He was just such a good hearted soul ... and he just really had a deep genuine love for everybody who was around."

Ziva was a rising young gymnast and the family's "spotlight kid."

"She's my firecracker," Clark said. "She was really just kind of the light of everybody and every time we were at functions, whatever the case was, you had to know it was Ziva and Ziva was there because she wanted everybody to know that she was."

Last April, the siblings were killed when a gust of wind knocked a dead tree over at the Indian Oaks Campground in Owen County. It was a place the family loved to play.

Xander and Ziva

"It's one of those things as a parent — you think of a million and one things, how your child could get hurt. A tree falling was never one of those," Clark said. "We want to raise that awareness."

xander ziva billboard

This week, the Clark family launched nine billboards as part of a new campaign to encourage people to check trees in their yards and at parks and campgrounds.

Indicators that a tree is dead or dying include:

  • Loose limbs
  • Bark that has shedded from the trunk
  • Listening for woodpeckers.

If a tree is dangerous, Crystal Clark wants you to invest the money to have it removed.

"My hope is to continue to spread the word and continue to get it out there. With them being on a billboard, that's a thousand more people that will see it everyday. And it'll make people think twice, you know 'Maybe I should check that. Maybe I should take care of that tree that doesn't look so well," Clark said.

clark family

You can find more information on how to check your trees here.