NBCPhiladelphia.com - Justin Pizzi
Family and friends of Abiah Jones prepare to go back to school in the aftermath of Friday's tragic accident.
Family, friends and strangers gathered for a vigil Sunday to remember 11-year-old Abiah Jones, who died after falling 100 feet from a Wildwood Ferris wheel on Friday.
Dozens gathered at the PleasanTech Academy Charter School to pray and share memories of the beloved 5th grader.
“She was a sweetheart, even when people mess with her she didn’t' get in trouble...she’s just a lovable person,” Arisleidy Mezquita said.
Abiah’s cousin Halemma Miller was overcome with grief as many came to light candles and leave teddy bears.
“She was fun and outgoing, she liked to have fun. She was sweet and very warmhearted.”
Jones, who was affectionately called “Biah”, was on a chaperoned class trip to Morey’s Mariner's Landing Pier -- a reward for exemplary grades and good behavior -- when the tragedy happened.
Jones was about halfway up when she fell from her Ferris wheel car, police said. That's about as high as a five-story building. Investigators say she fell into the area where people get on and off the ride. Police say there was no sign of horseplay or anything intentional.
“I didn’t even know she was getting on that ride, “ said best friend Khalisha Dully. “I saw her on a gurney and I thought they were going to save her, she was still breathing.”
Abiah’s charter school is bracing for a difficult last few weeks of school, without their cherished friend and classmate.
The Ferris wheel remains shut down pending an investigation.
Counselors are available for both teachers and students returning to school on Monday.
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