The tragic death of an 8-year-old in a sledding accident in the Dolomites has provoked a manslaughter investigation amid claims that her mother was unaware of the risks because signs in the resort only carried warnings in German.
Emily Formisano died on Friday after her mother crashed their toboggan into a tree as they were sledding in the Corno del Renon, about 20 miles north of Bolzano.
“My angel is dead, why didn’t I die instead?” her desperate father Ciro Formisano told rescuers.
The girl was killed instantly while her mother, Renata Dyakowska, 38, suffered multiple injuries and was flown by helicopter to hospital in Bolzano, where she remains in a critical condition.
Local prosecutors have opened a manslaughter investigation after claims that the warning saying “Sledding Banned” was posted only in German language on a sign on the slopes. The pair reportedly strayed onto a black piste by mistake because they could not understand the sign.
“Did it take the death of an innocent little girl to open our eyes the systematic removal in all of Alto Adige of all plaques and signs in Italian in favor of a maniacal German monolinguism that we have condemned for years?” said provincial councillor, Alessandro Urzi.
He said the system needed to be urgently changed so that Italian language was not “relegated to the margins” in the region.