A five-year-old British girl was killed in the French Alps on Saturday, Jan. 16, after a full-grown man collided with her at high speeds in the first of two fatal skiing accidents this week. 

The young British girl, identified only as Ophélie, was being taught how to ski in the beginner’s slope in Flaine at the Haute-Savoie region of France when a 40-year-old local volunteer firefighter came crashing to the girl at high speed, according to the New York Post

The man had tried to avoid the toddler but was unable to do so. He attempted to provide emergency first aid to the young lady, who reportedly lost consciousness and died on the way to a local hospital for treatment, Sky News reported.

“He is a 40-year-old man from Haute-Savoie. He is a regular at the resort. He has been placed under judicial control,” Karline Bouisset, a public prosecutor for the town of Bonneville, said. “The child was in a single file behind the group and was about to make a right turn when she was very violently hit by the skier arriving at high speed, who tried in vain to avoid her.”

The skier, who has been in custody since the incident on Saturday, is reportedly being charged with manslaughter for the young girl’s death. If convicted, he could receive a sentence of up to five years in prison as well as a fine of $85,000.

As Ophélie’s family has returned to their home in Geneva, Arâches-la-Frasse Mayor Jean-Paul Constant has said that a psychologist who could speak English has been contacted in an attempt to help the family grieve for the young girl’s death. 

“They are suffering from extreme shock, as are many others involved in this tragedy,” Mayor Constant explained. 

This would not be the last ski accident to happen in the French Alps this week: acclaimed French actor and "Moon Knight" star Gaspard Ulliel was also killed in a high-speed ski accident on Wednesday after he collided with another skier that caused a fatal head injury, according to a previous report.

maarten-duineveld-pmfJcN7RGiw-unsplash In the first of two ski accidents in the French Alps this week, a young 5-year-old British girl was killed after a high-speed collision with another skier rendered her unconscious. This is a representational image. Maarten Duineveld/Unsplash.