Girl on school ski trip in southern Alberta hits pole, dies in hospital

PINCHER CREEK — A 10-year-old girl has died after striking a pole while she was on a school ski trip in southwestern Alberta.

The Grade 6 student at Canyon Elementary School in Pincher Creek was on the planned outing Tuesday at the nearby Castle Mountain resort.

She had taken a mandatory ski lesson in the morning with other students, said resort spokesman Jason Crawford

“We have school groups almost every day,” he said Wednesday. “Once they’re through their lesson, they’re able to ski on the hill.”

The school provided chaperones, either teachers or parents, he added.

He didn’t know the girl’s level of ski experience but said she had skied at the resort before.

The resort is investigating the accident, Crawford said, and it appears the girl was alone on a beginner run when she lost control and went off the run. She struck a wooden pole that was part of a fence marking an out-of-bounds area.

Two other students witnessed the crash and went to get help, said RCMP Sgt. Mark Harrison.

He said the girl was wearing a helmet but suffered serious head injuries.

Resort staff provided first aid before paramedics arrived. Because of strong winds and snow, she could not be air-lifted to hospital, Harrison said.

She was taken by ground ambulance to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, where she was later pronounced dead.

The Livingstone Range School Division said in a statement that it is providing counselling to students at the school and at other division schools.

“The Canyon School Community is devastated by this loss,” said Canyon School principal Paul Pichurski.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the family.”

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