(NECN: Justin Michaels, Providence, RI) - A day of sledding ended in tragedy in Rhode Island when a teenage girl was killed. Sledding is 'off limits' at that park in Providence for the time being.
Sledding safety is top of mind in Providence, R.I. after the tragic death of a 17-year-old at this city park.
The hill, back in the day, was a skiing hill. Now-a-days, it’s a popular sledding hill, and it’s one some believe is just too steep and too fast.
“It’s not that safe, especially from that high up there,” says Christian Palez, who brought his son and daughter sledding at Neutaconkanut Hill Park in Providence.
But one hill at the park is simply off limits for this family “because the speed, you know, that the people reach over here… coming down hill.”
And it was on this particular hill, Wednesday afternoon, that someone died; 17-year-old Alexandria Alvarez, or Allie to her friends, only went half way up this hill, turned and sledded back down. Her mother says that’s when something went terribly wrong.
Allie’s sled cut right sharply and she went right into a small tree. The impact caused internal injuries, and Allie ended up dying at Rhode Island Hospital a few hours later from internal bleeding.
“It was clearly an accident. It was an unfortunate situation,” says public safety commissioner Steven Pare.
Because of that accident, this hill is now closed to sledding until further notice, and the city is looking at all sledding hills in Providence, assessing whether or not their level of safety is high enough to curb the possibility that something like the death of a 17-year-old won’t happen again.
The city says this hill will eventually open back up to sledding but not until safety here can be guaranteed so something like Allie’s death doesn’t happen again.