Vigil held for 10-year-old boy who died after horseback riding accident

BONITA, Calif. - A vigil was held in Bonita on Wednesday for a 10-year-old boy who died after a horseback riding accident.

Children and their parents gathered at Sunnyside Elementary School on Wednesday evening to remember David Ochoa-Alvarado. He was about to enter 5th grade at the school and was remembered for his love of horseback riding and soccer.

His school principal says he excelled at both and died doing something he loved.

"He actually came to school last year he and his brother and they actually roped and rided, did a little assembly for the students and showed their roping skills and he was just incredible on that horse," said principal Dawn Minutelli.

David's soccer coach, Tony Perez, said, "He came to the playing field with a smile on his face and he left the field with a smile on his face and throughout the game, he was positive and energetic and just… you could tell he loved being out there."

The Medical Examiner's Office says David was riding with his family at Sweetwater Regional Park in Bonita when the accident happened shortly before noon Monday.

Authorities say the horse got caught in wires holding a telephone pole to the ground and rose onto its hind legs, bucking off the 10-year-old. The horse then lost its footing and fell back on top of the boy.

David was taken to Rady Childen's Hospital where he was declared dead from chest injuries about an hour after the accident.   

A makeshift memorial has formed where the incident occurred, just down the street from his school.

During the vigil, each of the children was given a balloon. They were asked to think of David and then release it as a way of letting him go.

A fund has been set up to help pay for David's funeral. If you'd like to help, visit any Mission Federal Credit Union and reference the David Ochoa Benefit Account to make a donation.

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