Father of girl killed by falling ice: 'I lost my little girl'

Father of girl killed by falling ice: 'I lost my little girl' »Play Video
Grace Tam
The parents of an 11-year-old girl killed by falling ice over the weekend were supposed to be planning a celebration for their daughter reaching the rank of red belt in Kung Fu next week.

Instead they're left planning a funeral.

Grace Tam was killed Saturday when she was hit by a huge chunk of ice during an outing with her family to the Big Four ice caves in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

"We are really sad," her mother, Tamami, said Sunday. "We really miss Grace. I wish we (could) have her back."

They were in the park to enjoy the summer weather and see the ice caves when the accident happened.

Grace, her parents and younger brother, William, were on an ice field next to the caves when they heard a 'pop.'

"I turned my head to the right, then I see the big chunk of ice falling down," Tamami said. "I tried to snatch my daughter but I couldn't."

Grace was hit by a chunk of ice about half the size of an SUV.

"I tumbled down and I lifted her up and asked her, 'Grace, are you okay?'" her mother said. "And she look up at me and (was) already oh so pale."

Her parents and other people who were in the area performed CPR for more than an hour, but Grace died at the scene. The medical examiner ruled Monday she died from a crushed pelvis.

Signs at the site warn of the dangers of entering the caves, but officials and eyewitnesses at the scene said the family was not inside a cave, but was standing adjacent to them.

At her family's home Sunday, Grace's parents said the fifth-grader earned straight A's, loved her dog "Sugar" and was always adding to her scrap book.

"I lost my little girl," her father, John Tam, said through tears. "I lost my little girl."

The ice caves are located about 15 miles from Granite Falls, on a trail off the Mountain Loop Highway.

They are one of the most popular attractions in Snohomish County.