Girl rescued by emergency personnel after wandering off from middle school

An 11-year-old girl had to be rescued Friday by emergency personnel after she wandered off and got lost and tangled in a wooded thicket near her Lexington County school.

The incident began after the girl was dropped off to begin her school day at Meadow Glen Middle School at 440 Ginny Lane in Lexington, said Lexington Police Cpl. Cameron Mortenson.

Instead of walking into her school, the girl took a pathway connecting to the neighboring elementary school then, for reasons unknown, ventured off the path into the nearby woods, he said.

The girl was carried out of a wooded area in a rescue basket and transported to a local hospital after wandering away from her school Friday. (Photo by Hal Millard)

The girl was carried out of a wooded area in a rescue basket and transported to a local hospital after wandering away from her school Friday. (Photo by Hal Millard)

After walking into the woods, “she got disoriented and it got pretty thick, so much so that Lexington County Fire Service had to cut her out with saws,” Mortenson said. “She was in the briars and in the real thick of the woods.”

The girl stayed missing undetected for several hours until her mother realized her child had left her backpack at home and drove to the school to drop it off around 12:30 p.m., Mortenson said.

“And they were, like, ‘Oh, she never showed up to school today,’ ” he said. “So mom knew something was up. That sparked up a search, and officers were able to locate her. They were able to stay with her until the fire service could get there to cut her out.”

The girl complained of a possible injury to her leg. She was carried out in a rescue basket and then transported to a local hospital, Mortenson said. Her condition, or the extent of any injury she might have received, was unknown Friday night. However, Mortenson indicated the girl most likely would be fine.

Generally, Mortenson noted, oversight of students at elementary schools is much higher than at middle and high schools, where a greater level of personal responsibility is expected of older students.

“But, I would say it’s always good for a parent to followup with their child with a text message, or something, just to make sure they made it to school,” said Mortenson, who also is a parent of school-age children.

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