Teenage sleigh driver partially paralyzed in an accident on the identical hill that killed women

Two teenage girls were fatally injured in various sledding accidents on the same hill in Ohio, both families said on Saturday.

Natalie Wilson, 17, has been hospitalized since Sunday night after crashing on the Hinckley reservation in Medina County, her father Jim Wilson said. She was partially paralyzed after breaking her T5 and T6 spinal columns, severely damaging her spinal cord, and breaking six ribs.

Wilson said in a telephone interview that his daughter and a friend “made one last ride down the hill before going home” when their sled veered off course towards a tree line.

He said his family had visited the park “many, many times” and it was the second time his daughter has been there this year.

Natalie Wilson.Ken Wilson and Amy Cain / via GoFundMe

“That’s pretty much where we go when we want to go sledding,” he said.

According to Wilson, the hill can get icy at times, causing sleds to go very fast. He said it happened the day his daughter had an accident.

“They were both on the sledge,” he said. “So what basically happened is they got out of control and are moving towards the bottom of the hill. Your friend was thrown out … and my daughter most likely cut a tree.”

Wilson said he received a call from his daughter shortly before 9:30 p.m. informing him that she had been injured.

She was taken to the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help with medical expenses. The account raised more than $ 16,000.

Jim Wilson said his daughter will most likely stay in the hospital for at least the next few weeks but is making slow progress.

“Natalie felt a tingling sensation in her legs and the doctor felt a slight movement of her toes!” He wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “Praise God Almighty. I’m going to endure ‘tingling’ now !!! I needed this now like you wouldn’t believe it.”

The day before Natalie’s crash, 14-year-old Eirelyn Zuercher was involved in an accident on the same hill. She received life support on February 20 after suffering “a harmful brain injury,” her mother said in a Facebook post.

“Eirelyn is currently on life support to support life long enough to find recipients from organ donors. I was told this could take up to three days,” wrote Katie Dougherty Zuercher. “Waiting for the inevitable end is emotional and stressful, but I hope that a terrible few days for my family will mean a better future for other families who will benefit from their healthy organs.”

Eirelyn was taken off life support on Wednesday night and died of her injuries. Her mother said she could donate organs to five people.

To add to the family tragedy, Eirelyn’s father suffered a massive heart attack the day she was hospitalized from which he did not recover.

“Her father went to heaven just before her, just like he was the first to finish in every Mario Kart game they’d ever played together. She was waiting on the porch for him to come home from work, to greet him with the biggest hug before he could even get into the house. I imagine he’s waiting for her now with the same anticipation, “wrote Dougherty Zuercher.

Dougherty Zuercher could not be reached immediately on Saturday.

Wilson said he initially shared his story to keep family and friends informed about his daughter and never expected strangers to get help.

He now hopes Hinckley Reservation will make updates to his mound and put up barriers to keep sleds from drifting off the sides.

Cleveland Metroparks, which operates the reservation, and the Hinckley Township Police Department could not be reached on Saturday.

Park officials said in a statement to the Akron Beacon Journal, “Our thoughts go with the families affected by the weekend sledding incidents. We are investigating the incidents and the circumstances surrounding these tragic events.”

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