| 18.07,19. 06:05 PM |
Girl killed by father's golf ball in 'fluke accident'
Photo: Aria's mother described the six-year-old as "the sassiest girl in the world". (GoFundMe: David N Smith)
A six-year-old girl has died after her father accidentally hit her with a golf ball at a course in the United States.
Police said the ball struck Aria Hill while she and her father were out golfing with her uncle at Sleepy Ridge Golf Course in Orem, in the state of Utah, about 65 kilometres south of Salt Lake City.
The ball hit her in the back of the head, at the base of her neck.
David Smith, another uncle who launched a GoFundMe account to raise money for the family, described it as an horrific accident.
"A complete, fluke accident — you couldn't repeat it if you tried," Mr Smith told KUTV in Salt Lake City.
"She just happened to be in the exact wrong place, just directly across from him when it happened."
Lieutenant Trent Colledge of the Orem Police Department said the six-year-old was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City in a critical condition and later died from her injuries.
In a post on the family's fundraising site, Aria's mother described her as "the sassiest girl in the world".
"She was silly, spunky, creative, unique, and so so full of love for everyone she came in contact with," she said.
"There is a huge hole in our hearts that she has taken with her back to heaven."
Mr Smith described her as a happy child who greeted strangers and enjoyed spending time with her parents.
"She loved everyone so freely and effortlessly, the best way she knew how," he said.
He said she went golfing often with her father and that it was one of their favourite activities to do together.
Steven Marett, the head golf professional at the course, told the Deseret News that he had seen people occasionally hit by balls, but he had never heard of guests being seriously injured or killed.
"This is absolutely unimaginable, and it's been devastating," Mr Marett said.
Lieutenant Colledge said police were not planning to pursue charges because it appears to have been a tragic accident.
Her family have planned a funeral services for the girl on Saturday, local time.