HINCKLEY TOWNSHIP — Cleveland Metroparks is taking a look at safety issues at a sledding hill in Hinckley after two teenagers suffered serious injuries over the weekend.
On Saturday, a 13-year-old girl sustained serious head injuries and on Sunday, 17-year-old Natalie Wilson broke her back, leaving her partially paralyzed, News 5 Cleveland reported Tuesday.
Hinckley Fire Chief Jestin Grossenbaugh said he has never seen such severe injuries on the hill in the Hinckley Reservation.
“I’ve been with the department for 24 years. Through the years we’ve had broken bones, concussions, scrapes, things of that nature but we’ve never had any type of traumatic events that occurred like this weekend,” Grossenbaugh said.
Wilson’s father, Jim Wilson, told News 5 his daughter was with friends Sunday evening when her sled slid out of control.
“She broke her back at the T5 and 6 level, complete break, and did some severe injury to the spine, putting her right now, we’re hoping, in a temporary state of paralysis,” Wilson said.
Grossenbaugh said crews are typically called to the sledding him a few times a snow season. Twice in two days is unusual.
Wilson said he wants the Metroparks to shut down the hill until someone can figure out what caused the two accidents to happen.
“Our thoughts are with the families impacted by the sledding incidents that occurred over the weekend. We are looking into the incidents and the circumstances around these tragic events,” said Jacqueline Gerling, director of communications for the Cleveland Metroparks.