‘They think they are living a bad dream’: Family mourns child after Glenwood Caverns death

Local News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The family of the 6-year-old who died on a ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park remains in mourning for their loss, according to a close friend speaking on their behalf.

Bemnetayehu Mekonnen has been by the side of the Estifanos family since they returned from the tragic trip that took their 6-year-old daughter, Wongel.

“She’s very close to her family … she’s daddy’s little girl,” Mekonnen said. “She loved Jesus, too. That’s another thing she was known for.”

The Estifanos family left their home in Colorado Springs for their first family getaway since the start of the pandemic: a trip to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.

“And it turned into the worst day of their lives,” Mekonnen said.

“They think they are living a bad dream. They are hoping to wake up and have her back,” Mekonnen said.

Wongel died from blunt force trauma after riding the Haunted Mine Drop at the park.

Mekonnen said the Estifanos family is trying to come to terms with the harsh reality of their loss.

“Everyday when I see them, they are nauseous from the pain and torment from the loss,” Mekonnen said.

He described Wongel as the best big sister, a lover of the movie “Frozen” and things common for a 6-year-old girl to enjoy: “She loves swimming, drawings and painting.”

The family., Mekonnen said, is relying heavily on their faith to bring them some peace.

“It’s really hard to put into words what they are going through,” he said. “They are grieving, wailing and mourning the loss of their precious daughter.”

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