Teen Dies In Sledding Accident While Saving Life Of 3-Year-Old

A 16-year-old girl is being remembered as a hero after protecting her 3-year-old cousin from being hurt during a sledding accident in upstate New York.

Renee Hill was sledding down a hill with the little boy at the Clyde L. Burmaster Park in Lewiston, just outside of Buffalo, when they hit a tree at the bottom of the slop at around 10:00 a.m. Saturday (February 6) morning, WKBW reports.

Renee's mother, Alexa Kraft, told WKBW her daughter's first instinct was to protect her 3-year-old cousin after it was too late to avoid the tree.

“She had went down the hill. She had my 3-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,” Kraft said via WKBW.

Hill's parents said Renee died in an effort to save her young cousin.

"Everyone's calling her a hero. But that was my baby," Kraft said via WKBW.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office confirmed it received a call of an accident at the park's sledding hill at around 10:00 a.m. in a statement obtained by the New York Daily News.

“The two were apparently riding a sledding tube when they struck a tree at the bottom of the hill,” the statement said. Fire and ambulance rendered aid, but the girl could not be saved.

“The two were then transported by ambulance to the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo for treatment,” police said. “Subsequent to arrival at the hospital, the female was pronounced deceased due to her injuries. The male was treated and released.”

A GoFundMe launched to help Renee's family pay for funeral expenses is approaching its goal of $25,000 with $22,841 raised as of Monday (February 8) morning.

Photo: Getty Images

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