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Brother's Desperate Fight To Save Sister, 10, Who Died After Crashing Into A Tree While Skiing

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Brother's desperate fight to save sister, 10, who died after crashing into a tree while ski-ing

A teenage brother desperately tried to save his 10-year-old sister after she crashed head first into a tree at high-speed while skiing in the Alps.

Jemima Prees was on the slopes in the Austrian Tyrol at the Mayrhofen resort with her father, Tim, and older brother Barnaby, 19, when she lost control of her skis and collided with the tree.

Barnaby performed CPR on his sister for 40 minutes until rescuers arrived but tragically Jemima could not be revived.

Jemima's father told an inquest into her death that he would never know what caused his daughter to lose control while skiing and crash head-first into a tree at high speed.

Jemima, from Colerne, Wiltshire, who had been skiing since the age of four, died after losing control and hitting a tree during a half-term winter holiday at the resort of Mayrhofen in the Austrian Alps.

She careered downhill at high speed before ploughing into a wooded area off piste.

Despite wearing a crash helmet, Jemima suffered head massive injuries and although she was airlifted to hospital, doctors were unable to save her life.

Her father Tim told an inquest into her death: "I was there and I will never know what happened."

He told the inquest in Salisbury, Wiltshire: "Jemima suddenly skied straight past me down the slope. I yelled 'turn in, turn in," after her.

"She went straight ahead and didn't react. At that point the piste made a left hand turn straight towards the edge of the run.

"I lost sight of her because of the left hand bend. Barnaby and I went straight after her as quickly as possible to look for her.

"After a few seconds we came to the edge of the slope and saw her lying at the foot of a tree.

"Her face was purple and she was unconscious."

Barnaby immediately started giving his sister mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and heart massage while his father went to raise the alarm.

Mr Prees said: "He was an absolute hero. What he did was described as text book and perfect by the helicopter crew."

Jemima was flown by helicopter to hospital in Innsbruck but it was too late to save her. However, due to her brother's quick action her organs were donated and helped save the lives of four children, her parents revealed at the inquest.

Assistant Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Dr Claire Balysz, said: "What exactly happened we don't know - it's one of those things. "It is likely she hit an icy patch, lost control and went off the edge and hit a tree."

Dr Balysz recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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