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6-year-old who died on Colorado amusement park ride identified

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Posted at 1:28 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 15:28:21-04

A 6-year-old girl who died on an amusement park ride in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Sunday has been identified. Wongel Estifanos died while vacationing with her parents at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, CBS Denver reports.

She was on the Haunted Mine Drop ride, which plunges down a 120-foot mine shaft, dropping around 110 feet at a speed of 96 feet per second, the station reports. The child's cause of death is being investigated.

According to initial calls from dispatch to police, the girl fell 110 feet while on the ride, CBS Denver reported.

The ride, which was built in 2017, is required to undergo annual inspections by a third party, like all amusement park rides in the state. There is a 46-inch height requirement for the ride.

Inspectors from Colorado's Division of Oil and Public Safety arrived at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on Tuesday morning, likely beginning a long inspection process.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday and the forensic pathologist identified multiple blunt force injuries, but the final cause and manner of death was not announced as the investigation is ongoing. The Garfield County Coroner's Office initially said it would not be releasing the girl's identity.

A GoFundMe for the family, who live in Colorado Springs, describes Wongel as a "caring and cheerful girl" who loved Jesus.

She was a student at Stetson Elementary School, which said on Wednesday that counselors were on hand to support students and staff. "We share the family's grief as they experience an unimaginable loss," the school said in a statement to local news outlets.

CBS News has reached out to a family member for more information and is awaiting response.

After the incident, CBS Denver spoke to a visitor at the park who said she had just gone on the ride hours before Wongel's death. Marybeth Riegel Urrutia described how staff double-checked her safety belt.

"There are two seatbelts per person, and I thought I had buckled both of mine in. The operator of the ride went around the corner to start the ride, but quickly reappeared because my second buckle was not secured all the way. I joked, 'Hey that's important, thank you for double checking,'" Urrutia said. "So if it helps Glenwood at all, they do double check the seatbelts. My understanding is the ride won't start until everyone is secured properly."

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park said in a tweet it will reopen Saturday, September 11.