A 12-year-old girl has died and another girl, age 4, is in critical condition after a horse fell on them in Lake View Terrace on Tuesday night, authorities said.
The girl who was killed was identified Wednesday as Yolanda Ceja. She was pronounced deceased at 8:41 p.m. at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said.
When the Los Angeles Fire Department was called to the Lake View Terrace Recreation Center at 11075 Foothill Blvd. about 8 p.m. Tuesday, one of the children was found to be “pulseless and non-breathing” while the other had injuries that were at first believed to be not life-threatening.
The pulseless child was transported to a hospital in grave condition, the Fire Department said in a brief alert — its only statement on the incident. The other child was also transported to a hospital.
Los Angeles Police Department Officer Raymond Brown confirmed Wednesday morning that the older child had died and the younger one was critical, but he had no further details. An official at LAPD’s Foothill Station later said both children were girls.
Police are describing the death as an accident and no further investigation is expected.
No city of residence was available for Ceja, according to Winter.
A GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money for her memorial said “her bright smiling face” would always be remembered.
“We know she’s in paradise,” the page read.
Virginia Hawthorne, who teaches gymnastics on horses at Valley View Vaulters across the street from where the incident happened, said she believes the two children could have been riding the equine together.
“I would never take that kind of a chance,” Hawthorne told KTLA. “There could be a car that has an accident, makes a big noise. If your horse heard it, and went up, those kids would fall down.”
The recreation center is a city facility not far from the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, which is privately owned.
KTLA’s Jennifer Thang contributed to this story.