EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso woman died after suffering a severe head injury at the Carolina Skate Park in El Paso’s Lower Valley last week.
Lizbeth Avila, 22, suffered severe trauma to her head while skating at the park, according to her family.
“It’s something so tragic that I can’t even find the words right now,” Edgar Avila, Lizbeth’s father said.
Avila said he was on a work trip out of town when he last spoke with his daughter over the phone.
“‘I love you, baby.’ ‘I love you too dad,’ that was our last words,” Avila said. “An hour later I got that dreadful call. God gave me four hours to get here just in time, I got here at 1:20 and she died at 1:45.”
Avila said his daughter was an experienced skater of about seven years but she somehow fell and hit her head at the park.
“The tragic accident that happened to her in the park, the way she fell, the severity of the impact is something that using a helmet would’ve saved her life,” Avila said.
Avila said he wants to bring change to the city parks in light of her death. Signs at Carolina Park state the facilities are “enter at your own risk” and encourage helmets but are not mandatory. There is also a warning stating Texas law Chapter 75 limits liability for these kinds of incidents.
“There needs to be a change it shouldn’t have happened and that’s what’s killing me right now it shouldn’t have happened,” Avila said.
The law states there is limited liability of a governmental unit for damages arising not only for skateboarding but also hockey, skating and paintball.
Avila said he would like to see the City implement supervision or even rental helmets at the parks.
” I don’t make laws but whoever does here in El Paso should cause it could happen to their kids,” Avila said.
Johnny Hernandez, Lizbeth’s boyfriend, paid his respects to a makeshift memorial at the park in honor of Lizbeth.
“There’s a lot of things to say about Liz,” Hernandez said. “She was the life of every party.”
He said he also wants to share his message with the community encouraging helmets at skate parks.
“I get it wearing a helmet is not the cool thing, it’s not what’s in but at the end of the day it could’ve saved a life,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said several dozens of people held a vigil over the weekend to remember Lizbeth’s life.
“I promised her that in the next life I’d meet her and be with her again cause there’s no one like her,” Hernandez said.