Byron-area toboggan hill partially closed after tragic accident
LONDON, ONT. -- The city has closed a portion of a popular toboggan hill in Byron where a man was seriously injured last weekend.
"Lot of people are getting hurt, there’s not a lot they can do other than just close it off," said 16-year-old Jordan Stanley, who could be found at the Whisperwood Park Friday with his brother, 19-year-old Mac Stanley. The two were skiing down the large hill at the park just meters away from a portion popular with thrill seekers.
"You can’t beat it,' said Mac. "When you see a group of teenage boys line up and they just bomb down there. And they get so crazy high. People are clapping. It’s really exciting."
City workers had been at the hill earlier in the day putting up “no tobogganing” signs and erecting a snow fence along a stretch famous for a dip and a jump at the bottom. That’s where a 44 year old man was seriously injured last weekend after hitting a ramp, going airborne, then crashing.
Parks and Recreation manager Scott Stafford said they had to come up with a way to prevent further tragedies.
"So we removed those ramps that were made, smoothed off and kind of filled in the swale as best we could in case anyone inadvertently gets over to that section."
As much as he enjoys the jump at the bottom, Mac Stanley said he supports the move. "I don’t think it’s a bad idea, just due to how many injuries there were. Every time I come down here you can usually here some tears and some crying from that direction."
Not everyone likes the changes. Neighbour Chuck, out for a stroll with his young grandson, said he thought it was too much. "I think it’s overkill. We didn’t need this. Kids have been sliding here now for 30 years. The odd one gets bumps and bruises, but they’re having fun working off some steam."
Scott Stafford said the barrier will be permanent, but he added that the city will look at planting and other naturalization measures in the spring.