Family Holds Private Funeral for Daughter, 6, Who Died on Amusement Park Ride: 'Daddy's Little Girl'

A private funeral was held on Tuesday for Wongel Estifanos, who died earlier this month after suffering fatal injuries at a Colorado amusement park

Wongel Estifanos
Wongel Estifanos. Photo: gofundme

Wongel Estifanos, the 6-year-old girl who died during a trip to a Colorado amusement park over Labor Day weekend, has been laid to rest.

A private funeral was held by her family on Tuesday at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado, according to Fox21 News.

Close friend Bemnetayehu Mekonnen told the outlet that Wongel's parents are "tormented by what happened that day and hoping that this is a bad dream and that they'll wake and she'll be there."

"She was daddy's little girl and her mother loved her to death," Mekonnen continued, noting that the outpouring of support they've received has meant a lot to her family.

"Joy shared is joy doubled, and grief shared is grief halved so when you are going through this journey with someone they know they are not going at it alone really helps," he said.

In addition to her parents, Estifanos Dagne and Rahel Negussie, Wongel is survived by a 2-year-old brother, reported 9News.

Wongel's death was also mourned by her community at Stetson Elementary School, where she was a student.

"We share the family's grief as they experience an unimaginable loss," the school said in a previous statement, according to CBS News.

Wongel Estifanos
Wongel Estifanos. GoFundMe

Before her death, Wongel was on vacation with her family, which marked the first trip they'd taken since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"They haven't gone anywhere in two years. And it was supposed to be a joyous occasion, a fun getaway and it turned into the ultimate tragedy," Mekonnen previously told CBS4.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Wongel died on Sept. 5 while riding the Haunted Mine Drop ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the coroner's office previously announced. Although a final cause of death has yet to be released, an autopsy performed last week found that she suffered multiple blunt force injuries.

"We are deeply saddened and ask that the family and all those impacted be remembered in your thoughts and prayers," Park General Manager Nancy Heard told PEOPLE in a previous statement.

Although the amusement park is currently open, the Haunted Mine Drop is not currently listed on its website.

The Haunted Mine Drop
The Haunted Mine Drop ride at Glenwood Caverns Park. Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Post Independent via AP

Following Wongel's death, a GoFundMe page, which has raised over $71,000 as of Wednesday, was set up to help cover funeral costs.

"Wongel was a beautiful, caring, and cheerful girl," reads a message on the page. "Her parents, family and all the community [are] devastated by this tragic and sudden loss. We want all the community to stand with the family during unthinkable loss."

Related Articles