RICHLAND -- Don't despair, sledders, the hill at Carmichael Middle School that Richland police closed Saturday will be available if it snows again this winter.
However, Richland School District and public safety officials could pay closer attention to the safety of people playing at the traditional sledding spot after two people were seriously hurt at the hill after the recent storm.
"With that activity goes some inherent risks," said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb.
One incident involved a 10-year-old boy who was hurt Friday when his sled slammed into a dugout. The second accident reportedly was Saturday.
Cobb could not give details about who was hurt except to say both were sledding when they crashed into the concrete backstop of the baseball diamond at the bottom of the hill.
The area had snow that was covered by a layer of ice from freezing rain, creating extremely slick conditions.
"One child was airflighted to Harborview (Medical Center) in Seattle," Cobb said.
The condition of the sledders was not available because their names have been kept confidential.
Cobb said the hill was closed after staff at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland raised concerns to officials with the Richland School District.
"We want students and families to be safe in all situations and conditions," Richland Superintendent Jim Busey told the Herald in an email Wednesday. "We routinely monitor weather conditions, road and facility decisions; we often ask our experts in the field for opinions and thoughts as decisions are finalized."
Cobb said last week's closure wasn't intended to be permanent. Conditions will be monitored, though, to ensure people aren't hurt when out trying to enjoy snowy weather.
"If we got eight inches of snow tonight, people could be out there sledding tomorrow morning," he said.