6-year-old girl who died after 'tragic' golf ball accident was 'full of joy and compassion'

Joshua Bote

Community members are grieving after a 6-year-old girl died following a tragic accident at a Utah golf course.

Kellen Hill, his brother Brayden, and his daughter Aria were golfing at Sleepy Ridge Golf Course in Orem, Utah, Monday morning. The ball hit by Hill struck Aria in the back of her head while she was waiting in a golf cart 20 yards away, KUTV-TV reported.

Aria was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City in critical condition, said Lt. Trent Colledge of the Orem Police Department. She died of her injuries later that evening.

"The Orem Police Department is deeply saddened by the tragic death of this young girl," Colledge told USA TODAY. "Our sincere condolences go out to the family and we cannot even begin to comprehend the grief the family is experiencing at this time."

Colledge added that police are not considering criminal charges and are treating the  incident as a tragic accident.

"This is a horrible accident and the Orem Police Department’s investigation is being treated as such," he told USA TODAY.

"Aria was full of joy and compassion," said David Smith, Aria's uncle, in a statement to USA TODAY. "She loved her parents and was a proud 'sissy' to her younger twin brothers. She loved fully, and will be missed by everyone who knew her."

"This tragic accident has brought unimaginable difficulty, yet we’re grateful for the overwhelming support our family has received."

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to defray the costs of her funeral.

"The Sleepy Ridge Family and golf community is devastated by the unimaginable incident that lead to Aria Hill’s death," said Steve Marett, the head golf professional at Sleepy Ridge. "Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Hill family as they try and find a path forward through this tragic accident."

Contributing: Associated Press

Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter @joshua_bote.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 6-year-old girl struck by golf ball in Utah was 'full of joy'