Boys Pinned By Fallen Tree Speak About The Accident

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PROVO, Utah (ABC4 News) – Ten days ago two boys were injured after a 30 foot tree fell and pinned them underneath their tent while they slept.  Now, 7 year-old Dallin Markland and his brother 9 year-old Joseph are out of the hospital and talking about the ordeal.

“I woke up, I wanted to go outside but my leg was stuck,” said 7 year-old Dallin Markland.

On July 11th, Dallin and his brother Joseph were sleeping in their tent.  Even though there were strong winds the day before the Markland’s had set up camp a few distance away from a few trees at the Lakeside RV campgrounds in Provo.  Around 4:30 a.m. a Cottonwood tree came tumbling down on the family tent.  The boys mother, father and twin siblings were also inside but only Dallin and Joseph were seriously injured.

The two boys saying they didn’t even realize what had happened until after arriving at the hospital.

“I hear daddy’s calls and then I start figuring out what is happening and then finally when it’s all over I find out there’s a tree right there,” said Joseph Markland.

Though they didn’t feel any pain they say it was a scary experience.

“I remember that it was really hard to move and I couldn’t breathe,” said Joseph.

At the hospital doctors discovered Dallin had a broken femur.  Joseph’s injuries were much more serious.  He had a fractured orbital socket, a broken pelvis, and multiple internal injuries including a lacerated liver.  

“We kept finding new injuries on Joseph, he had a broken arm and then a few broken bones, and then two pelvis fractures and every day was like, ‘what were we gonna find next,” said their father BenJoe Markland.

After about three days in the hospital Dallin was able to go home, but Joseph wouldn’t be released for three more days.  Nearly two weeks after the bizarre incident the boys are back home recovering and their father is calling their survival a miracle.

“If my kids had been sleeping a different direction or had been an inch another direction they wouldn’t be here,” said Markland.

The night of the accident, BenJoe says he accidentally flipped the positioning of the boys cots.  Making them face the entrance to the tent rather than the other way around.  He was asked by several people why he had done that and says it was on accident.  Now he says he’s glad he made that mistake.

“Where the tree broke their legs, that’s where their faces would have been,” said Markland. 

Their pain is the worst in the morning, the boys say, but they’re just glad they’re able to recover at home.

“My leg is doing a lot better.  I’m still using a walker and a wheelchair but it’s doing good, really good,” says Joseph.

The Markland’s were in town for the month from El Salvador and were attending a family reunion in Provo when the accident occurred.  The boys say they’re bummed that their summer is now ruined but they’re thankful to be alive, in particular Joseph, who credits his faith for saving his life.

“I thought I was gonna be in the hospital for a long time, but I knew that God would protect me and help me heal,” he said.  

The boys will still have about 6 more months of recovery and healing before they are back to their normal selves.  Currently, the family is trying to get clearance for the boys to be able to travel as they are set to return to El Salvador at the beginning of the month.  

“Dallin needs more surgery to finish the repair on his left so he’ll be in a wheelchair for at least a month.  Joseph can’t really walk stable because of his broken pelvis and we need to get his eye cleared and for his liver that was lacerated,” said BenJoe.

Joseph says he is eager to return home and play with friends and play baseball.  Dallin says he is looking forward to playing jump rope again.  

The boys say they would like to go camping again except next time they want to stay in a trailer.  

The Markland’s say they are so thankful for the outpouring of love and support for the community here in Utah and around the world.

“We’ve definitely felt the prayers and blessings, and I think that’s why the kids are progressing well,” says BenJoe.

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