Candlelight vigil held for child thrown from fair ride

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November 1, 2006

A civil rights group is bringing people together in unity for an injured teenager.

The Augusta chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is holding a vigil for 13-year-old Desire Northington, the girl injured last week on a fair ride.

The organization is uniting a community to prayer for Desire's recovery.

Nearly a week after 13-year-old Desire Northington was critically injured on the Orbiter fair ride.

She is showing signs of improvement.

Members from the SCLC of the CSRA realize it could have been one of their own.

"Just hearing about it...that could have been my daughter," said Minister Chris Tyler of the CSRA SCLC.

Family members say Desire is alert and responding by blinking her eyes.

They say it is a miracle she's come so far after being thrown 60 feet from the ride.

She was taken to the Children's Medical Center at MCG with massive head injuries.

"We just got to keep praying and hoping she has a recovery, a very good recovery," Tyler said.

And now organizers have t-shirts for the candlelight vigil and walk to show Desire's family they care.

"We are planning on praying for Desire, and when finished we are going to walk towards the fair and leave the candles near the fair," Tyler said.

The organization is calling on the Augusta community to come together for desire's recovery.

"It's not a black or white thing," Tyler said. "We are together as a community. It's for unity."

The candlelight vigil begins tonight at 8 o'clock in front of the law enforcement center. Those in attendance plan to walk a little over a block to the Georgia Carolina State Fair.

The SCLC is also looking into opening a trust assistance fund for Desire.

State inspectors say the ride, the Orbiter, was up to code. A report finalized yesterday found no fault with the ride or the ride operator.

The report says Desire panicked before falling from the ride.