A winter warning after another serious injury on a notorious London, Ont. toboggan hill
LONDON, ONT. -- A man in his 40s had to be transferred to hospital by Middlesex-London Paramedic Services with head trauma after getting airborne at the base of a London hill.
It was a heart-stopping few moments after a child launched about six feet into the air, coming off a jump at the base of a west London toboggan hill Saturday afternoon.
A parent dropped the sled he was holding and instinctively reached out, catching just enough of the child’s body to slow his momentum as the two spun to the ground.
A man in his 40s wasn’t as fortunate. Over the noon hour, the man had to be transferred to hospital after a crash at the base of the same hill.
Stefano Caranci witnessed the incident, “A guy coming down full speed and he hit the ramp at the bottom, he must have been upside down five seconds or so. When he landed, it wasn’t a good one.”
Caranci and a friend ran to help the man who was unresponsive at first, remaining unconscious for about ten minutes, as a distraught female friend called 911.
“He was knocked out yeah. It was definitely the big crash of the day.”
There are a number of toboggan runs located behind Byron Somerset Public School, located at 175 Whisperwood Avenue.
Neighbours who live at the top of the hill say they’re all too familiar with these incidents, with at least three ambulance calls last weekend.
Most of the toboggan runs aren’t a concern, but the one where the injuries occur has a dip at the base, followed by a section that ramps up dramatically. The jump extends the full width of the hill, where people carry the most speed.
Caranci says some people, especially children, underestimate the speed they’re carrying and how high into the air they travel after hitting the bank.
“Every time you come here that hill’s always the one you want to keep your eye on because everyone who makes it down there, if you don’t hit the brakes on that hill, there is no stopping you. The whole bottom is just one big ramp.”
Caranci and others began warning parents after the noon-hour incident.
“We told a couple of parents after the accident it wasn’t a safe idea to let their kids go down the hill because, like I said, there is no stopping once you get going down that hill.”
Neighbours says all the hills are now busier than ever, with tobogganing one of the few ways to help children deal with pandemic restrictions.