Friday, August 8, 2008


(Blue heron on Mollys Falls Pond, Marshfield, Vermont, photo courtesy of Oak LoGalbo)

A tragic accident occurred on August 6th involving women traveling by van from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival to the nearby airport, resulting in the death of one woman and critical injuries to another. The 15-passenger van, completely full, blew a tire and hit a guardrail, causing it to turn over and land upside down.

The woman who was killed is Lynn J. Marshall, 56, from Sumner, Washington. Her sister, Susan Martin, was coordinator of the van shuttles and not in the van at the time. It was Lynn's first time to attend the Festival, although Susan is a long-time worker there. Lynn was the only woman not wearing a seatbelt when the van rolled over.

The critically injured woman is named Flame. She had broken vertebrae, broken ribs, and a jaw broken in three places. Her sister has gone to be with her in the hospital, while her lover remained at the festival with their children.

Apparently usually festival-goers take a bus to the airport on Monday after the festival, but these women's flight was cancelled in Chicago and they were stranded there overnight. The festival sent a van to pick them up.

More information about this terrible event can be found at the MWMF forums located here.

The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival occurs annually for a week every August on private land outside Hesperia, Michigan since 1976. It is the largest (and only) festival of its kind, open to all girls and women who were raised as girls and still identify as female. Hundreds of thousands have attended, celebrating the complete range of girl-and-woman consciousness. It is constructed from meadows and forests each year without permanent human traces left behind, and returned to pristine condition after the festival is over. Almost all of the work done to create and maintain the festival is done by women. It becomes a small city where girls can not only roam in utter safety, but experience a reality without the intrusion of male conditioning for several days.

My heart goes out to the family of Lynn Marshall, a sister, lover, and friend to many. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured women as well.


Liza Cowan said...

This is so sad. What a tragic way to start off festie season.

Nice photo though.

Patrick James said...

My 10 year old daughter was killed in one of these type of vans last summer for more information about her and the dangers of 15 passenger vans please review the following web site. I have been working in Washington, DC and my local gov. in TN if you have any questions please give me a call or write an email all my contact info is on the web site... I am very sorry for your loss.

kat said...

Scary and sad.

Random question, which came to mind when you said that Flame's lover and children stayed at the festival:
It's a women/girls only space, but what about infant/toddler sons? Are they allowed?

Maggie Jochild said...

Kat, yes. From the MWMF information page:
"Childcare is available in three different areas. Sprouts Family Campground provides a day camp and family campground for moms and all young children through four years of age. Gaia Girls Camp offers daily activities and supervision through the evening concerts for girls five and over. Brother Sun Boys Camp operates from 8am to midnight with a program of outings; crafts, cookouts, music, sports and campfires for boys aged five through ten. Located in a mix of forest and meadow, Brother Sun offers a fun, welcoming and secluded area for boys while preserving womyn's space in all other Festival areas. Please respect that all boys five and over, and their families, camp in Brother Sun for the week."

kat said...

Gotcha. Very cool that there are programs for kids.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, Lynn was not the only person not wearing a seatbelt. In fact, all but a 2-3 ppl were not wearing seatbelts. The fact that Lynn died in this terrible accident is horrible enough, I don't want folks to feel that someone she was at fault because she didn't buckle in. Read more about vans like these here: Spread the word about them.

Anonymous said...

What an awful way for me to find out about Lynn's death. I had been friends with her for a long time but after I graduated from high school, we drifted apart and I had been thinking about her so I decided to google her to find her address and this is how I found out. I am very saddened. I feel bad that we drifted apart.