A 30-year-old mother died after she and two others fell off a personal watercraft at Folsom Lake near Brown’s Ravine on Sunday, according to California State Parks officials.
The woman was identified as Ariel Ampania-Pittman, a mother of three, KTLA sister station KTXL reported.
Just three months ago, the young mother married Keenan, the love of her life, with their three daughters, Kaylani, Londyn and Raelynn, by their side.
That same month, she celebrated turning 30.
“I just still can’t believe that she’s not here with us anymore,” Anthony Ampania, Ariel’s dad, said. “From the day that she was born, she’s had an impact on my life, the life of her mom, her brothers, cousins.”
On Sunday, after getting off the phone with her dad, Ampania-Pittman headed to Folsom Lake to have some fun with her family. They say the mother, her youngest daughter and a friend got on a jet ski, but they were thrown off as they made a turn.
State Park authorities said a good Samaritan helped them get to the launch ramp at Brown’s Ravine but that Ampania-Pittman lost consciousness along the way.
Deputies did CPR, but Ampania-Pittman didn’t make it and died at the hospital.
They say she drowned, despite wearing a safety vest, and that alcohol was not involved.
“What a beautiful young lady she is. How compassionate and caring she is, and it’s really hard to say that in the present tense, knowing,” Ampania said. “She’ll always live within our hearts.”
Ampania said his daughter was the most loving and thoughtful person, as he showed KTXL the last gifts she gave him.
“She was irreplaceable,” Dustin Ampania, Ariel’s brother, said. “Can’t envision life without her here. You expect the next time you guys get together, she’ll be there. Cause every time we go to a function together, like I seek her out because she just has this sense of humor that connects with you, connects with people.”
“She was so funny. She was always making us laugh, just the kindest person,” Danielle Steers, Ariel’s cousin, said.
“What’s most important is that they continue her legacy,” Ampania said. “She was a special — I call her a little girl but she was a young woman. But she was still my baby.”
Ampania-Pittman’s family released a statement on her passing and describing her as a beloved mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.
“We are devastated to announce the tragic loss of Ariel Ampania Pittman. A beautiful life cut short, Ariel passed away on Sunday, June 12th at 4:13pm. She was surrounded by a room full of loved ones,” the statement read. “While we mourn her loss, we know that her radiant spirit created a legacy of love, kindness, and gratitude that will live forever in all of those she leaves behind. She is survived by her lovely daughters Kaylani, Londyn and Raelynn and her husband Keenan Pittman.
A GoFundMe page was made to help the family.