6-year-old Utah girl dies after being hit by golf ball on Orem course

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OREM — A 6-year-old girl was killed Monday after she was hit by a golf ball on an Orem course.

Aria Hill was sitting in a golf cart on the cart path at the Links at Sleepy Ridge, 730 S. Sleepy Ridge Dr., when her father hit the ball that struck her on the back of her neck, according to police.

The 911 call came in at about 10:25 a.m., Orem Police Lt. Trent Colledge said.

She was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and then flown by helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, where she died from her injuries later that night.

The golf cart was neither directly behind nor directly in front of Aria's father, according to Colledge. He said the cart was between 45 and 90 degrees to the father's left.

Aria went golfing with her dad often, her uncle, David Smith, said. He described her as her father's "golfing buddy."

"She loved doing it and had a good time with it all," Smith said. "That was one of their things that they would do together. It was something that was really important to them and something they did all the time. "

Steven Marett, the head golf professional at the golf course, said that while he'd occasionally seen people get hit with golf balls at the course before, he had never heard of anybody there being killed by a ball or even seriously injured.

"This is absolutely unimaginable, and it’s been devastating to see it at the course and in the community," Marett said.

Police are investigating the incident but Colledge said Aria's death appears to be a "tragic accident."

A GoFundMe* account set up by family members has raised over $8,000 for funeral expenses.

Contributing: Paul Nelson, Andrew Adams

*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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