‘Everyone loved her’: Teenage girl, 16, is hailed as a ‘hero’ after she died saving her three-year-old cousin when their sled collided with a tree in upstate New York
- A girl who was sledding at a local park in New York has died after the tube she was riding on with a three-year-old boy struck a tree at the bottom of a hill
- Renee Hill, 16, was riding down the hill alongside her cousin
- The sled suddenly tipped over and she slammed into a tree – the boy was saved
- Renee’s heart stopped in the ambulance as she was taken to a nearby hospital
- Niagara County Sheriff received emergency call shortly after 10am on Saturday
- Hill was later closed by local law enforcement as they investigated the accident
- Renee’s parents remembered her as a ‘mama bear’ who was beloved by her family and classmates
A 16-year-old girl who died while sledding has been hailed a hero after she managed to protect her three-year-old cousin from being seriously hurt in the tragedy.
Renee Hill was riding down a hill in a sledding tube alongside the little boy cousin at the Clyde L. Burmaster Park in Lewiston near Buffalo, New York when they hit a tree at the bottom of the slope at around 10am on Saturday morning.
Renee is said to have shielded the youngster from the impact which took her own life, but saved his.
The teenager was pronounced dead at a Buffalo children’s hospital while the little boy was treated and released, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office say.
Renee Hill, 16, was riding down a hill in a sledding tube alongside her three-year-old cousin
The sled suddenly tipped over and she slammed into a tree, but the boy was saved
Renee Hill who was sledding Saturday at a local park in New York has died after the tube she was riding on with her three-year-old cousin struck a tree at the bottom of a hill
The hill was later closed by local law enforcement as they investigated the tragic accident which came after Winter Storm Quade dumped several inches of snow on the Northeast.
‘She had went down the hill. She had my three-year-old nephew on 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,’ mom Alexis Kraft said.
‘Everyone’s calling her a hero. But that was my baby,’ she said.
‘Don’t take one minute for granted with your babies. Tell them you love them. Every minute. Every chance you get,’ Kraft said.
Renee’s heart stopped in the ambulance as she was taken to a nearby hospital
The hill was later closed by local law enforcement as they investigated the tragic accident
The Niagara County Sherriff’s Office received an emergency call shortly after 10am on Saturday about an accident on the sledding hill at Clyde L. Burmaster Park in Lewiston, near Buffalo, New York
The site has a history of accidents according to WIVB. The sledding hill was closed from 2002 to 2004 and reconfigured to try to make it safer after at least three lawsuits over crashes.
Renee was a sophomore at Niagara Wheatfield High School and the eldest of four siblings.
‘She was a mama bear for sure. She could get them in line really quick but she was loving and they all loved her,’ Kraft said.
‘Everyone loved her,’ father Richard Hill said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs of Renee Hill’s funeral
Kraft said that his daughter was an up-and-coming lacrosse player who was feared on the field.
‘We would love to go watch her play lacrosse because she really was amazing. All the parents and all the other girls on the team would call her the beast because once she got on the field, she would just go hard,’ Kraft said.
Renee’s parents are thanking the community for their support during such a tragic time.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs of her funeral.
The site has a history of accidents. The sledding hill was closed from 2002 to 2004 and reconfigured to try to make it safer after at least three lawsuits over crashes
Investigators were on site on Saturday in an attempt to work out what caused the accident
Around 25,000 people a year are injured in sledding accidents with children seven times more likely to be the victims than adults.
The accident came as the northeast was blanketed with snow on Sunday as Winter Storm Quade hit the area – less than a week after Orlena dumped as much as two feet on the region.