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French skier investigated over collision with British girl

Image source, Getty Images

A skier who was involved in a fatal collision with a five-year-old British girl in the French Alps has been placed under investigation.

The girl, named locally as Ophélie, was taking part in a group lesson at the weekend in Flaine in Haute-Savoie.

She received immediate first aid from the man himself, who is a local volunteer fireman, but she died in the helicopter taking her to hospital.


Her parents are a British couple living across the Swiss border in Geneva.

The man under investigation – a local in his 40s – faces a possible charge of involuntary manslaughter. The local prosecutor also requested that the man, who she reportedly says is “in shock” after the accident, be placed under judicial supervision, which usually means restrictions on the person’s movement.

The little girl was one of a group of five children receiving instruction on Saturday morning from a qualified instructor on an easy slope in the resort of Flaine near Chamonix, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris.

According to the local state prosecutor, the man skiing downhill collided with her at high speed.

“The child was in a queue behind the group and was about to make a right turn when she was very violently hit by a skier going at high speed who tried in vain to avoid her,” according to a statement from the local Bonneville prosecutor’s office, quoted by local media outlet France Bleu.

If charged, the man faces up to three years in prison and a fine of €45,000 (£37,600).

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