A sledding accident Saturday in upstate New York left a 16-year-old girl dead and a 3-year-old toddler injured, according to authorities.
The duo was sledding down a hill at the Clyde L. Burmaster Park in the Town of Lewiston when police received an emergency call that there had been an accident.
“The two were apparently riding a sledding tube when they struck a tree at the bottom of the hill,” the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Both the teen and the 3-year-old boy were taken to the Jon R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo for treatment, according to police. The 16-year-old, however, was pronounced dead due to her injuries once she arrived at the hospital. The little boy was treated for undisclosed injuries and released. (RELATED: Four Skiers Killed Following Utah Avalanche, Officials Say)
The 16-year-old victim was later identified as Renee Hill, a sophomore at Niagara Wheatfield High School, according to WKBW.
“She had went down the hill,” Alexis Kraft, Hill’s mother, told WKBW. “She had my 3-year-old nephew with her. She saw the tree coming. Her first instinct was to put her foot down and flip the sled so my nephew wouldn’t get hurt. She hit the tree. Her heart stopped on the way to the hospital.”
“Everyone’s calling her a hero. But that was my baby,” Kraft said, according to the report.
The incident is still under investigation and the sledding hill at Clyde L. Burmaster Park remains closed, according to police.