Parents talk about night tree fell on sons while camping near Utah Lake

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 20:46:27-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Two boys are on their way to recovery after a huge old Cottonwood tree fell on them while camping early Monday morning.

It happened in Provo near Utah Lake at the Lakeside Campground. Nine-year-old Joseph Markland suffered the worst of injuries, with a lacerated liver, a broken eye bone and a broken arm.

His brother, 7-year-old Dallin, has a broken femur.

Their parents, Delena and Ben Joe Markland, spoke to media from Primary Children's Hospital Wednesday. They say they'll never forget the sounds from that night.

"I woke up to the sound of cracking and I immediately knew that something bad was about to happen. It just got louder and it got closer and I immediately started screaming," Delena Markland said.

The uprooted tree crushed their two sons.

Delena Markland and her husband were able to rescue their twin 3-year-olds from the tent, but their older boys were pinned down.

Despite being crushed by the tree, Delena Markland said, Joseph did what he could to comfort his younger brother as they awaited rescue.

"He even was calling out to his brother saying 'be strong Dallin, be strong.' That's just kind of kid he is," Delena Markland said of her 9-year-old son. "He is just an amazing kid."

Their family had been visiting from El Salvador, but the parents grew up in Utah. They have received tremendous support here, they say they're not angry with the campground just feeling lucky to be alive.