9 year old ski racer dies after being injured
Mounties say the nine-year old ski racer who likely crashed into a tree at Nakiska Ski Resort has died.
The girl, whose name has not been released, was found unconscious and unresponsive by other skiers around 1 p.m. Sunday. She was treated at the resort, before being flown to Alberta Children’s Hospital by STARS air ambulance.
RCMP confirmed Tuesday that the girl has died from her injuries.
“She did pass away,” said Kananaskis RCMP Const. Matthew Bentz, who added their investigation has concluded. “There’s nothing criminal involved. It was a pretty straight-forward incident.”
Officials with EMS said it’s believed the girl, who was a member of a race program at the mountain, crashed into a tree.
It’s not known exactly what happened, but a spokesman for the resort said Monday that she was out skiing with her group when the incident took place.
He referred other inquiries to Alberta Alpine, which oversees the program.
No one from Alberta Alpine has responded to a Herald request for an interview, but they released a statement on their website Tuesday afternoon.
“This past Sunday, December 6th, a U10+ member of the Mt. Allen Ski Team was rushed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital via STARS after an accident at Nakiska,” it said. “The athlete was skiing with her group on “Homesteader” when it is believed that the athlete lost control and hit a tree off the main trail.
“It was with shock and great sadness that we learned of the athlete’s passing at Children’s Hospital on Sunday afternoon. At this time, we do not have any additional information regarding this tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the athlete’s family, friends, her coaches and teammates during this difficult time.”
A similar message was emailed Tuesday to parents with the Nakiska Alpine Ski Association, asking them “not to speculate on what may or may not have occurred” out of respect for the girl’s family.
The email from program director Scott Zahn added that it may take athletes, parents and coaches some time to process the incident.
“It is important as parents (that) you talk to your children about this situation to ensure they are OK and answer any questions or concerns they may have,” it continued. “We are in the process of putting support services in place and additional information will be forthcoming.”
More to come …