Five-year-old British girl is killed in ski crash horror in the Alps: ‘High-speed’ skier CRASHES into youngster during group lesson – as French police arrest man, 40, on suspicion of manslaughter
- Five-year-old British girl has been killed in accident on a ski slope in French Alps
- Young girl was having lesson on piste when skier careered into her at high speed
- Last night a local man was in police custody and an investigation was opened
- Did you witness incident or know the people involved? Email [email protected]
By Alexandra Williams In Geneva For Mailonline and Peter Allen In Paris for MailOnline
Published: | Updated:
A five-year-old British girl has been killed in a tragic accident on a ski slope in the French Alps.
The young girl, named locally as Ophélie, was taking part in a lesson on the piste when a skier careered into her at high speed yesterday morning.
Tragically she died as she was being transported to hospital by helicopter.
Last night a 40-year-old local man was in police custody and an investigation was opened for manslaughter.
The horrific accident happened yesterday at around 11am in the ski resort of Flaine, in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps, 50 miles from the Swiss city of Geneva.
The young girl lived in Geneva with her ex-pat British family, who have a holiday home in Les Carroz, but it is now known how long the family had been at the resort.
The five-year-old girl died after a skier careered into her at high speed in the ski resort of Flaine in the French Alps. Pictured: GV of the Flaine resort
The young girl sadly died as she was being transported to hospital by helicopter. Pictured: GV of the ski resort of Flaine
The girl was in a group ski lesson run by the national ski school, Ecole du Ski Français (ESF), with four other children. The children were in single file behind the instructor near the edge of the piste.
Neither the child, nor the arrested 40-year-old man, have yet been named following the tragedy in the resort of Flaine.
But Karline Bouisset, the public prosecutor in nearby Bonneville, confirmed that the man, a volunteer fire fighter, had been ‘skiing at hight speed’ on a Blue ‘easy slope’.
He faces a manslaughter charge based on a ‘deliberate violation of safety obligations’ – a crime that comes with up to five years in prison, and a fine equivalent to £62,000.
Ms Bouisset 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.’
Jean-Paul Constant, the Mayor of nearb Arâches, said: ‘We are actively looking for a psychologist who speaks English for the family, who have returned to Geneva.
‘They are suffering from extreme shock, as are many others involved in this tragedy.’
The horrific accident took place in the ski resort of Flaine, in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps
Some resorts in France and Switzerland have introduced speed cameras and hand-held radar devices
The ski resort of Flaine, in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps, lies 50 miles from the Swiss city of Geneva. Pictured: GV of the ski resort
The skier and volunteer firefighter, who administered first aid on the side of the piste, was said to be ‘in a state of significant shock’. There was also a doctor present.
He comes from Saint-Jeoire, and is offering his full cooperation to the authorities.
Despite attempts at resuscitation, the five-year-old was pronounced dead at 1pm while being airlifted to hospital by helicopter.
A post-mortem will take place on Monday to determine the cause of death.
Some resorts in France and Switzerland have introduced speed cameras and hand-held radar devices in a move aimed at reducing accidents on pistes.
The limit on many has been set at 30kph, a little under 19 mph, but far lower speeds are expected on easier slopes.