Innocent Game Turns Deadly

Chris Cook, managing editor of communications at marketing at Tech, said he has never heard of an accident so bizarre like this ever happening on campus before.

“When the phone rings early in the morning and it’s the Texas Tech Police Department, or when they call in the middle of the night, you know it’s not just to say ‘hi,’” he said. “You kind of prepare yourself for whatever is going to be said on the other line. But really, you’re never prepared.”

According to the police report on June 22, 14-year-old Miguel Martinez was playing hide and seek at the National Ranch and Heritage Center. The report stated the boy ran into the horn of one of the bull statues outside of the center, and was found unresponsive and died because of his injuries.

The National Ranching Heritage Center is where Martinez died on June 22.

The National Ranching Heritage Center is where Martinez died on June 22.

Captain Steve Hinkle of Tech PD said the death investigation is still underway.

“I can’t divulge any information about what happened,” said Hinkle. “A lot of the news channels have made up their own stories. All I can let anyone know is that it is still under investigation.”

Cook said the nature of how Miguel was impaled is still being evaluated, and information is limited as of right now.

At the National Ranch and Heritage Center rocks written in memorial of Martinez can be found underneath the bull he impaled himself on.

One of the rocks had the words, ‘Sister loves you. Rest Baby!’ Another had, ‘My angel above, you are an inspiration to many; you will always be in my heart and soul. I love you.”

Eleven-year-old Adrielle Mindieta was viewing the bull statue on Wednesday with her grandmother to pay respects to Martinez. Mindieta said she knew about the boy through her best friend. She said her friend was selling t-shirts that afternoon to help raise money for Martinez’s funeral and memorial fund.

Many people have left behind rocks with messages for Martinez by the statue he impaled himself on.

Many people have left behind rocks with messages for Martinez by the statue he impaled himself on.

“I felt bad for her,” said Mindieta. “She told me all about him. She said he was nice and a good student.”

Mindieta said her friend had mentioned that Martinez’s parents had talked about suing the center, but nothing had been finalized.

Cook said he felt for Martinez’s parents. He said being a father himself, his heart and sympathy goes out to them. Cook said he does not know of any other incident like this happening at Tech, but even when normal accidents happen on campus it is always difficult to cope with.

“It’s definitely heart breaking and anytime a child dies for that matter,’ he said. “It’s the same thing with our students. We get those notices every now and then and I hate it for that kid’s family, for the student body and the person’s friends. It’s never easy.”

When considering what would happen to the bull statue at the center, Cook said the process had just begun. He said anytime there are accidents on campus, polices and features are reevaluated. Cook said the question is always, “What can we do differently? Can we even do anything?”

He said right now nothing has been decided about the statue, but he did mention that Tech sent out a statement of compassion to the family of Martinez earlier in the week.

“Let me just reiterate that this is a tragic accident,” he said. “Our hearts and sympathies go out to the family and to the friends.”

About Lauren Estlinbaum

Entertainment Director    —    Journalism major, Class of 2014
Lauren Estlinbaum grew up in Pearland, Texas, south of Houston (go Texans). She is a journalism major with a minor in apparel design. Lauren would like to work for either a fashion or lifestyle publication post-graduation. As she likes to say, she considers fashion magazines survival guides.

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