The little girl was in a lesson on the piste when a skier careered into her at high speed.
Tragically she died as she was being transported to hospital by helicopter.
Last night a 40-year-old local man was in police custody and an investigation was opened for manslaughter.
The horrific accident happened yesterday morning at around 11am in the ski resort of Flaine, in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps, 50 miles from the Swiss city of Geneva.
The girl, whose family are reportedly from Britain but have a home in Geneva, was on the Serpentine ski run which is classified as ‘blue’, meaning an easy slope.
She was in a group ski lesson run by the national ski school, Ecole du Ski Français (ESF), with four other children.
The children were in single file behind the instructor near the edge of the piste.
The prosecutor overseeing the investigation said: “The child was in a single file behind the group and was about to make a right turn when she was very violently hit by the skier arriving at high speed who tried in vain to avoid her.”
An investigation was opened for manslaughter due to the alleged “violation of an obligation of safety and prudence”.
The little girl lived in Geneva with her ex-pat British family who have a holiday home in Les Carroz.
The skier, a volunteer firefighter, was said to be “in a state of significant shock”. He administered first aid on the side of the piste. There was also a doctor present.
Despite attempts at resuscitation, the victim was pronounced dead at 1pm while being airlifted to hospital by helicopter.
An autopsy will take place on Monday to determine the cause of death.