A rare tragedy or something that could be happening more often (see below)?
We don't have nationwide sports injury surveillance, so we don't really know how common something like this is.
We also don't have any government initiative in terms of moving in the direction of a national body for sports injury surveillance. New Zealand has one, but we don't and we don't look like getting one in the near future. John Howard the sports fan has appointed a sports minister who has no interest in injuries and a health minister who has no interest in sport. Kim Beasley wouldn't know what a policy was if he tripped and fell over one in the street. Guess we can still keep our heads in the sand in Australia and call sports injuries acts of God like we did with illness a hundred years ago.
Tree branch kills golfer
By Matt Williams and Rhiannon Hoyle
April 19, 2005
From: The Advertiser
Tragic accident ... it is the second time in a week a gum-tree branch has fallen on the course.
A GOLFER about to play a shot on a suburban course was killed yesterday in a freak accident when a branch of the giant gum tree she was standing under crashed to the ground.
Sally Dearman, 48, was playing in a women's pennant competition on the fifth hole at the Flagstaff Hill Golf Club course. A member of the North Adelaide Golf Club, Ms Dearman died of head injuries caused by the 13m branch.
The three other golfers Ms Dearman was playing with were unharmed. They, along with ambulance officers who arrived at the scene later, tried in vain to resuscitate her.
Authorities described the accident as "freakish", especially as it happened on a calm day, with high winds not a factor.
A similar incident happened last weekend on the same course when a gum-tree branch fell on the first hole where golfers normally line up to tee off. No one was injured.
The golf course was closed after yesterday's accident, which happened about 11.15am.
Golfers later left the course and the club rooms in shock, some crying and others consoling each other.
Many were too distressed to speak and grief counsellors were called in.
Ms Dearman, of Payneham South, was not married and has no children.
It is believed her parents are seriously ill in a metropolitan hospital.
Yesterday, Ms Dearman's golf team was competing against members of the Riverside Golf Club, which was rocked by the deaths of two women when its clubhouse roof collapsed in April, 2002.
"I was speaking to some women from Riverside and they said it's bought all the bad memories back of what happened there three years ago," Thaxted Park Golf Club member Marlene Wright, 53, said.
Mrs Wright's husband, Jim, 57, said the death was "unbelievable".
"It's a freak accident, it's as simple as that," he said. "For a branch to fall off out of the blue like that and hit someone is totally unbelievable and beyond words."
Vines Golf Club member Ros Brunton described Ms Dearman as a "lovely lady" who was well liked by her fellow golfers and friends.
"She was a highly ranked player at North Adelaide and she was probably their number one pennant player in their grade three team," she said.
North Adelaide Golf Club president John Smith described Ms Dearman as "an inspiration to young golfers".
"The club certainly will be putting something together in memory of Sally," he said.
North Adelaide Golf Club secretary manager Geoff Duthie fondly remembered Ms Dearman from when they both joined as members in 1982.
"Sally was always such a smiling, happy person and I remember her from right back when we both joined the club," he said.
The Flagstaff Hill Golf Club manager was unavailable for comment yesterday.
A police report on the death is being prepared for the coroner.