• RI officials assess safety of popular sledding hills after teen's death


    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) — The death of a 17-year-old Rhode Island girl is forcing officials to evaluate the safety of hills often used for sledding during the winter months.

    Authorities say Alexandria Alvarez was sledding at Neutaconkanut Park Wednesday afternoon when she was injured. Emergency crews responded and transported Alvarez to Rhode Island Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a few hours later.

    An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.

    Another man was badly injured on the same hill on Wednesday night after losing control of his sled. Similar accidents in Methuen left three people, including a child, with serious injuries. Methuen Police say their injuries were the result of three crashes in two days.

    Some officials are now going as far as to press charges against people who ignore the "no sledding" signs posted at some hills deemed to dangerous.

    In Providence, Alvarez's death is prompting public safety officials to assess other popular sledding spots in the city to make sure they're safe.

    City officials have closed the park to sledding following the incident. Snow fences are being installed at the top and bottom of the slope and a ranger will be assigned to prevent anyone from sledding at the site, which is part of the 88-acre park on Providence's west side. They say they expect to reopen the hill in Neutaconkanut Park when the snow isn't so icy.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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