French skier charged with manslaughter of five-year-old British girl in collision

Experienced skier accused of hitting holidaying girl in ski school at excessive speed

A French skier who killed a five-year-old British girl after slamming into her at a resort in the Alps has been charged with manslaughter.

Prosecutors in the nearby town of Bonneville said the accident had been caused by the experienced skier’s excessive speed, and charged a 40-year-old local man with manslaughter late on Monday after an inquiry was launched that morning.

The incident took place as the girl was learning to ski late on Saturday morning in Flaine, northwest of Chamonix.

The public prosecutor told local newspaper Le Dauphiné: “This is a man totally unknown to judicial authorities, who is clearly also devastated by the accident.”

An autopsy also took place on Monday morning establish the exact cause of death. Local TV network France 3 Regions said initial reports suggested “a very violent shock”, and that the results would be passed on to the judge. The skier risks up to three years in imprisonment and a €45,000 fine, France 3 Regions said.

The badly wounded girl died onboard a helicopter that was rushing her to hospital despite attempt at resuscitation after she was plunged into immediate cardiopulmonary arrest. She had been taking part in a lesson organised by the French Ski School (ESF) with four other children.

The public prosecutor for Bonneville told France Bleu that the child was in single file behind the group and was about to make a right turn when she was “very violently” hit by a skier arriving at high speed who tried unsuccessfully to avoid her.

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UK news, France UK news | The Guardian

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