weather icon Partly Cloudy

Father of girl killed by his errant golf ball discusses tragedy

OREM, Utah — A 6-year-old Utah girl who was accidentally fatally struck by a golf ball hit by her father died in her dad’s arms, he said.

Kellen Hill recently returned to the course where an errant drive struck his daughter Aria in the back of the head as she sat in a nearby golf cart on July 15, the Deseret News reported.

“That was really, really hard. Just standing in the tee box and looking out and just kind of seeing everything,” he said.

Hill said he’s played golf since he was a child, and he’s never had a shot like that. His drive went almost straight left and the ball went through the back of the golf cart, passing two bags before it hit the child. The father-and-daughter golfing duo weren’t even supposed to be at Sleepy Ridge Golf Course in Orem that day; Hill had called two other courses, but both were full.

“How it happened, I cannot explain and I don’t understand. That is not a shot I hit, ever,” Hill said. “She was doing what she was supposed to be doing. She wasn’t running around … It was as if puzzle pieces fell into place. It was crazy.”

She died before an ambulance arrived.

The story received widespread attention, and the Hill family received condolences from as far away as Sweden, France and Australia. Now, they’re hoping an event in her memory will help them heal and change Sleepy Ridge into a happy place for the family, rather than a place where Aria lost her life.

A tree has been planted in the girl’s honor at the 16th tee, and course owner Golden Holt said he’s hoping to make the “Because of Aria” fundraiser held Friday into an annual event.

It makes sense for a girl who loved going golfing with her dad.

“Aria loved to come golfing and I took her whenever I played,” Hill said. “This is a chance to do something positive and fill the memory with something other than a loss of life.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
House denounces Trump’s Syria decision

The House, including 129 Republicans, passed a bipartisan resolution to condemn President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria.

Russia offers to mediate in Syria; Turks defy ceasefire pressure

As Russia and the U.S. launched diplomatic forays to end Turkey’s invasion of Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defied pressure for a ceasefire and said the only way the offensive would end was if Syrian Kurdish fighters leave a designated border area “by tonight.”

Consumers spooked? US retail sales dip 0.3% in September

Retail sales dropped in September by the largest amount in seven months, possibly signaling that rising trade tensions and turbulent markets are having an impact on consumer spending.

Felicity Huffman starts serving 2 weeks in college admissions scam

“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman — aka inmate No. 77806-112 — reported Tuesday to a federal prison in California to serve a two-week sentence in a college admissions scandal.

Impeachment probe uncovers high-level unease over Trump, Giuliani moves

Behind closed doors, career State Department official George Kent testified Tuesday he was told by administration officials to “lay low” on Ukraine as “three amigos” tied to the White House took over U.S. foreign policy toward the Eastern European ally.

Fire at oil storage facility prompts hazmat emergency

Officials said they did not immediately know the cause of the fire and whether there was any connection to a 4.5-magnitude earthquake Monday night.