CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A family visiting Virginia from Florida is grieving the loss of a 9-year-old girl killed in Chester while sledding.
Investigators say she and a truck collided Thursday afternoon. Chesterfield police continue to investigate this tragic incident, and the family is asking for privacy. It's not clear what, if anything, could have been done to prevent the accident.
In the Mistwood Forest neighborhood in Chester, no one could predict the tragic scenario as a little girl sledded down her grandparent's driveway.
"Her father [was] laying on top of her, covering her with a blanket," said neighbor William Barnett.
He also saw the Toyota Tacoma that struck the girl.
"Someone else came in and ended up driving the truck home, because he was in no condition to drive the truck. He said he couldn't drive. He was very shaken up," Barnett added.
While sledding in the snow can be a fun activity, experts say the incident offers a good reminder that could help everyone when it comes to safety.
According to KidsHealth.org, when sledding, select a hill that's not too steep and has a long flat area for kids to glide to a stop. Avoid areas that end near a street or parking lot. Also stay away from areas that end near ponds, trees, or fences. Sled on snowy surfaces rather than icy surfaces, which could make for a hard landing and make sure your kids stay in well-lit areas under adult supervision.
"It was slick at the time of that accident," Barnett added.
Right now, it's not clear if the driver involved will be charged.
"When you come down that hill when it's icy, you're going to pick up speed, and you're not going to be able to slow down," Barnett said.
Neighbors say the little girl was in town from Florida to visit her grandparents.
"This is just something that we're not ever going to get over it," Barnett said.
Experts say also be mindful of frostbite and hypothermia, which means making sure kids are properly dressed to stay warm. KidsHealth.org suggests steering clear from scarves or clothes that can get caught in the sled. It also recommends helmets. You can read additional safety tips here.
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