On Saturday, July 3, David and Sabrina Jaramillo took their family to Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa, to celebrate the birthday of their eldest son, expecting to “have a good time.” However, a tragedy on a water ride left one of their children and another in a medically induced coma.
Parents of an 11-year-old child who died on a water ride said they were helpless to save him because their seat belts trapped them.
On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” David and Sabrina Jaramillo talked about their 11-year-old son Michael’s death in a tragic Saturday accident. When the family was on the Raging River water ride, their raft suddenly overturned, trapping the family and the couple’s niece.
“When it flipped over, all of us were trapped in the safety seat belts,” David Jaramillo recalled in an interview that aired early Tuesday. “I see the silhouettes of my sons trying to grab each other, grab us. They wanted us to help them. We couldn’t do it.”
Both parents and one of their sons and a niece were eventually able to free themselves and swim to the surface. However, David and Michael remained trapped, and no one could reach them.
“I’m drowning,” the father said. “The river was so intense, it was like a suction.”
The family screamed for help, and first responders were eventually able to free the boys. Both David and Michael were then sent to a local hospital in critical condition. At the same time, the others suffered only minor injures. Michael died on Sunday due to his injuries. David remains in critical condition in the hospital, the Altoona Police Department reported.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jaramillo family as they navigate the heartbreaking loss of their child,” police said in a statement Monday. “Altoona Detective are working with the State Inspector and Adventureland Park to understand this tragic accident.”
“He was just taken from us,” David Jaramillo told about his ‘good kid,’ Michael. “Love your kids. You just don’t know when they’ll be taken.”
Sabrina Jaramillo feels cheated out of witnessing her child achieve the milestones she expected to share with him.
“I will never get a chance to see him grow up or get a chance to see him graduate,” she said. “I feel like Adventureland robbed me of my baby, I’m gonna never get a chance to see him grow up.”
The couple also mentioned their youngest son, Gus, “He’s scared,” Michael Jaramillo added. “It is a nightmare. He closes his eyes and thinks about the water. When he wakes up, he realises the nightmare’s true. So there’s no peace.”
Adventureland Park said in a statement released Sunday that it was “saddened to learn of the passing of one Guest.” The park added that an investigation into the fatal incident is ongoing, and that the ride will stay suspended for a “thorough inspection.” According to the park, the Raging River ride was last inspected on Friday and “was found to be in sound working order.”
“Adventureland is working closely with both the State and local authorities, and would like to thank them again for their efforts,” the park continued. “At this time, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for the Guest and their family, as well as for our team members who were onsite.”