A horrific accident on the slopes has turned into a manslaughter charge for one man.
A 5-year-old girl was getting skiing lessons out in the French Alps recently. The girl is just being called Ophélie and was with four other children getting supervised lessons on Saturday.
The group was learning on the beginner’s slope. Suddenly, another skier came flying down the hill at a “high speed” that is unsafe for this kind of slope.
The young girl was starting to turn when the man slammed into her at this deadly speed. He tried to avoid her but was unable to. The man is a 40-year-old volunteer firefighter. After hitting the girl he immediately started to give her emergency first aid.
Sadly, the 5-year-old was knocked out during the collision. Despite various attempts, she never regained consciousness and was officially pronounced dead on the way to the local hospital.
Now, according to the New York Post, the man is suffering the consequences. He was taken into custody on Monday and was charged with manslaughter. Although the incident was an accident, prosecutors said he was traveling at an excessive speed which led to the girl’s death.
If the man is convicted, he will face five years in prison as well as an $85,000 fine.
The whole situation has come as a major shock to the entire local community. The mayor of Arâches, Jean-Paul Constant, is currently looking for a psychologist that speaks English for the family of the young girl that passed away.
“They are suffering from extreme shock, as are many others involved in this tragedy,” he said.
Other Shocking Recent Skier Death
Sadly, there are a number of incidents that could occur when someone decides to hit the slopes. From collisions to falls to avalanches, safety can never be a 100% guarantee.
KTVZ reported that a skier had died after falling into a tree well at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. He was on the Devil’s Backbone slope when the 28-year-old took the fall. He was buried in the snow and was not responsive when dug out, responders stated.
The man was Birkan Uzun. He was trying to complete the Seven Summits, which is where you climb each of the highest mountain peaks located on the seven continents. He was a mountaineer and outdoorsman that was currently living in Seattle.
These tree wells are a very common and dangerous part of skiing. They form when snow gathers around the base of tree but not under the lower hanging branches. It then essentially creates pockets of unstable snow.
The skier usually falls into these pockets head-first, which could result in suffocation when they are immobilized. The risk is higher after a snowstorm, seeing as it produces more of this fresh and dangerous snow.