Five-year-old British girl dies in Alps skiing collision after man crashes into her ‘at high speed’

·2 min read
The five-year-old girl died while being taken to hospital by helicopter following the skiing crash - iStockphoto
The five-year-old girl died while being taken to hospital by helicopter following the skiing crash - iStockphoto

A five-year-old British girl has died during a skiing class in the French Alps after a man crashed into her "at high speed".

The child, thought to be from a British expat family living in Geneva who were on holiday at their second home near the Flaine resort, was part of a group skiing on an easy "blue" piste.

They were behind an instructor from the national ski school, Ecole du Ski Français, when the incident happened.

Conditions were good in the resort, around 50 miles from Geneva, when the crash happened at around 11am on Saturday morning.

A 40-year-old local man, reportedly a volunteer firefighter, has been arrested and an investigation has been opened into possible manslaughter, according to local newspaper Le Dauphiné.

The prosecutor overseeing the investigation said: "The child was in a single file behind the group and was about to make a right turn when she was very violently hit by the skier arriving at high speed who tried in vain to avoid her."

Efforts to revive the girl, reportedly aided by a doctor on the scene, were unsuccessful. She died while being taken to hospital in a helicopter.

Investigation opens into tragedy

The manslaughter investigation is expected to focus on the speed of the skier and a possible "violation of an obligation of safety and prudence”.

Jean-Paul Constant, mayor of the region of Arâches, where the incident happened, said the family had gone home and that the ski school and ski lift staff would receive psychological support.

He added: "We are actively looking for an English-speaking psychologist to meet with the family who have since returned to Geneva."

An official judicial investigation could be opened on Monday at the earliest. An autopsy will also be carried out on Monday to determine the cause of death.

A spokesman for the resort's tourism office said: "An investigation is underway to find out the circumstances of this tragedy."