Authorities say Aria Hill's father hit a golf ball that fatally struck the 6-year-old in the back of her head.

By Char Adams
July 17, 2019

A Utah family is grieving the death of a 6-year-old girl who was fatally struck in the head by a golf ball while out on a father-daughter golfing trip in Orem on Monday, reports say.

The little girl, identified by the family as Aria Hill, was sitting in a golf cart at the Sleepy Ridge Golf Course when her father hit a golf ball that struck Aria in the base of her neck, CBS affiliate KCTV reported. She was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and died that night.

“She was silly, spunky, creative, unique, and so so full of love for everyone she came in contact with,” her mother said in a statement shared on a GoFundMe page set up for the family. “There is a huge hole in our hearts that she has taken with her back to Heaven…Fly high my little angel.”

An investigation is underway, but police believe it was an accident and aren’t planning to bring charges, KCTV reported.

The Orem Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

The 911 call was placed around 10:25 a.m. and Aria was later airlifted to Primary Children’s Hospital, according to NBC affiliate KSL.

Aria’s uncle, David Smith, told the station that she often went golfing with her father, calling the little girl her father’s “golfing buddy.”

“She loved doing it and had a good time with it all,” Smith told KSL. “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.”

Sleepy Ridge Golf Course did not immediately respond to a request from comment from PEOPLE, but head golf professional Steven Marett told KSL that he’s never seen anything like Monday’s incident at the golf course.

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

The GoFundMe page has raised over $12,000, which is intended to cover funeral and medical costs, according to the page.

“Aria brought contagious joy and light to every room or place she entered, and is dearly loved by so many because of the love she shared so freely and effortlessly,” the fundraiser states.

“She was an incredible big sister to her brothers, wonderful friend to her cousins and neighbors, and had a smile that let you know she was probably up to something — and that something was surely going to bring a smile to your face, a laugh to your soul, or tears of joy to your eyes.”


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