6-Year-Old Ventura Girl Dies in Fourth of July Parade Accident

"Mabel was the one I would call if there was a stray insect or bug in the classroom because she wanted to rescue them all," said Lynn Bova, Mabel Aksay's kindergarten teacher.

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A 6-year-old girl from Ventura died Monday after an Independence Day parade accident in North Dakota, officials said.

Mabel Aksay was riding on a float heading to the city of Mandan's Fourth of July parade when she fell off and was struck by one of the trailer's tires.

Officers said the child was severely injured when they got to the scene. Mabel was rushed to the hospital, where she died.

Just a few weeks ago, she had finished kindergarten at Juanamaria Elementary School in Ventura, where her father is the school's principal.

"This doesn't deserve to happen to anybody," said Melissa Melendez, whose daughter attends Juanamaria Elementary. "But it broke our hearts to know it was the Askay family specifically."

A vigil outside Juanamaria Elementary was postponed because too many people wanted to attend.

Jesse Giglio, the lead pastor of the family's church, Neue Church Ventura, said now is a time for people to come together.

"The outpouring of community support has been incredible," Giglio said. "I think it's a testament to how much the Askays mean to this city and the other places they traveled."

The community remembers her as a sensitive and compassionate little girl.

"Mabel was the one I would call if there was a stray insect or bug in the classroom because she wanted to rescue them all," said Lynn Bova, Mabel's kindergarten teacher.

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