Teen on life support after fatal Iowa water ride accident

Iowa City, Iowa – A teen injured in an accident on an Iowa amusement ride that killed his younger brother remained on life support on Wednesday when he turned 16, his family’s pastor said.

Pastor Christian Shields said David Jaramillo has been in a medically induced coma at Blanc Children’s Hospital since Saturday’s accident on the Raging River at Adventureland Park in Altuna.

David has some brain function and has woken up a couple of times in Des Moines hospital, opening his eyes and asking what happened, he said. Shields said he is connected to breathing machines, but doctors are hoping to remove him from life support.

Pastor Shields of Christian Life Church in Cedar Rapids said it was a miracle that David was alive after being under a boat in the water for several minutes. The church planned a prayer meeting for the family on Wednesday night and is sponsoring a GoFundMe page that has raised $30,000.

“We will pray for life for David, that his brain function is miraculously unaffected and uninterrupted, with no long-term effects,” he said. “He is still in very serious condition, but there are some good signs.”

Friends have brought balloons to the hospital for David’s birthday, but “there won’t be much celebration.”

The Jaramillo family of Marion, Iowa, went to Adventureland on Saturday to celebrate David’s upcoming birthday. Shields said David, a junior at Lynn-Mar High School, was excited to receive his driver’s license as a step toward independence and adulthood.

David, his younger brothers Gus, 14, and Michael, 11; his 18-year-old cousin Nyla Petty; And parents Sabrina and David Jaramillo got on a boat for the ride on Saturday night. A family-friendly staple of the park since 1983, the ride uses a conveyor belt to push circular boats through rapids.

The family boat capsized within 20 seconds of the start of the ride, Shields said, causing all six to hit their heads on the surface below and their seatbelts under the water.

According to a mandatory “Major Breakdown” report filed by Adventureland with the state and issued to the Associated Press, what caused the raft capsize is under investigation, but at least one of its eight bladders has been damaged. was deflated.

Adventureland attorney Guy Cook said the bladder can deform when turned over, and it’s premature to draw any conclusions. He said it was the first time one of the boats had launched in thousands in the 38-year history of the ride.

Shields said that Nayla managed to open herself and Gus and both were slightly injured.

Shields said the boat was crushing 43-year-old David’s shoulder, and he could hear his bones crunching as he flattened his shoulder to get out from below, Shields said. He and Sabrina went out and saw their sons landed in the river, but could not move the boat because of David’s hand injury.

He said they shouted for help as other rafts passed by, and they believe workers turned off the water for the ride at least 10 minutes before and the boys were freed from the water, he said. said. Emergency responders on site started very quickly with life-saving measures and CPR, but several minutes passed until an ambulance could reach them and take the four most seriously injured to the hospital.

Cook said the time of the accident was being investigated.

Doctors decided to take Michael, a sixth grader at Boulder Peak Intermediate School, off life support on Sunday after he showed no brain function and his organs failed. Shields said he and other pastors sang by holding the boy’s hand and doctors cut the machine.

Shields had known Michael this summer because the boy volunteered for a church fundraiser to clean up a local minor league baseball stadium after games. He promised that he would show up for all 12 nights and he happily picked up trash and beer bottles.

Shields said Michael was “full of smiles and laughs and jokes,” loved small dogs, played video games and hang out with friends.

“The potential that has been robbed of this world is incomparable with a young man like Michael,” he said. “She’s a gem.”

The Polk County Medical Examiner’s office said on Wednesday that Michael’s autopsy was complete but the cause of death was still under investigation.


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