FELIDA, Wash. - A 9-year-old girl who was hurt while riding an inflatable tube that was being towed behind a truck was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The accident happened at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, located at 3000 N.W. 119th Street in Felida, which is northwest of Vancouver.
Both the girl, identified as Madison Gecho, and an 18-year-old male were riding on the inflatable tube when the accident happened. The inflatable tube was being pulled behind a pickup driven by Peter Gecho, the girl's father.
According to the Clark County Sheriff's Office, as the truck made a tight turn near a covered area behind the school, inertia forced the inflatable tube into a brick bench along a sidewalk, causing Madison to strike the bench, which is pictured below. It was not known whether the 18-year-old male hit the bench as well. He ended up with only bruises.
Investigators believe alcohol contributed to the accident. They are continuing to interview witnesses and are asking anyone else who may have seen what happened to contact either Detective Kevin Harper at (360) 397-2032 or Detective Eric O'Dell at (360) 397-2040.
The inflatable tube was left at the scene following the accident and someone took off with it. Police are trying to track down where it went. It is yellow in color and has two seats with handles for the passengers.
The deadly accident comes just one day after a 14-year-old was seriously injured after sledding out into traffic and getting run over by a minivan. The accident happened near the intersection of Ellsworth and Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. The woman driving the minivan said she could not stop in time before hitting the teen.
The boy was just one of many sledders who were injured on Tuesday. Legacy Health System reported that nine people had been brought to their emergency rooms at five hospitals over the course of the day.