Samantha Aguilar, a 16-year-old Texas teenager, was killed after being thrown from a carnival ride at an El Paso church festival. Aguilar was a passenger on the Sizzler ride at the Dia de Los Ninos festival at the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on Friday evening.
Aguilar slammed into a metal barricade at the Dia de Los Ninos festival and sustained a severe head injury, KVIA reports. The Texas teen killed on the carnival ride was inside a passenger car with two friends at the time of the fatal accident. One of the surviving passengers stayed in the Sizzler ride car by tightly gripping onto the safety bar after the seat belt on the spinning ride gave way. The other passenger was also ejected, but escaped serious injury. The festival closed after the accident. The injured teen girl is reportedly still being cared for at a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Teen Killed on Carnival Ride: I’ll Cherish ‘Every Living Moment’: Samantha Aguilar was in the top 10% of her class https://t.co/dRwemLrVGr
— 55KRC (@55KRC) May 2, 2016
“My purpose is to make people happy! If life is as short as I am then I shall cherish every living moment,” Sammie Aguilar said on her Instagram profile biography.
The Texas teen was an academic scholar and an athlete at Hanks High School, the El Paso Times reports. Aguilar was a junior at the El Paso high school.
Kim Gomez, Aguilar’s Hanks High School track coach, who was out of town at a track meet with some of the team at the time of the accident, had this to say about the young woman.
“We loved Sam. The girls’ comments last night were, ‘She’s wonderful,’ and she is. She was very sweet and kind to everybody and a beautiful young lady. We’re devastated we’re not there for the rest of the girls. She was the first person I saw every morning at school. She’d come to my room and drop off her bag.”
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish has volunteered to pay for Samantha Aguilar’s funeral. Reverend Ed Roden Lucero released a statement that said he is both deeply “shocked and saddened” by the fatal accident which claimed the life of Sammie Aguilar. Reverend Roden also said the Dia del Niño Fiesta was intended to celebrate God’s blessings and one of his greatest gifts, family and children.
#redforsam @ montwood can we do this also pls ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/0mIU5J5Bhc
— tiffany (@tiffanyytweeted) May 2, 2016
El Paso Catholic Diocese Bishop Mark J. Seitz had this to say about the tragic and fatal accident at the church carnival.
“Parish communities gather at times outside of church services, religious formation classes and other activities simply to enjoy one another and their families. When such a joyful event turns tragic the pain of the loss is even greater. The Diocese of El Paso deeply regrets this terrible loss. Words are incapable of expressing our sorrow at the death of this young girl. We know that no words will alleviate her family’s pain but we will ask our merciful God to do through prayer what words are incapable of doing: bringing consolation in the midst of this sorrow.”
Playtime Amusements Incorporated of Las Cruces, Texas, was the owner and operator of the Sizzler ride. No public comment has yet been issued by the company. A church representative told local reporters the company is cooperating with law enforcement investigators, who are attempting to determine if the seat belt was improperly placed across the teen girls or if the safety restraint malfunctioned. The same amusement company has reportedly been used by area churches many times in the past without incident.
[Image via Mauvries/Shutterstock.com]