By: Julia Deng
WINK - Dozens gathered Monday evening to remember a Wink-Loving ISD graduate and current Angelo State University student killed in a weekend boating accident.
Manuel "Manny" Rivas, 20, and a friend were kayaking Saturday afternoon at Lake Nasworthy when a man on a jet ski collided with them, San Angelo Police said.
He passed a field sobriety test and told investigators he did not see the kayaks because he was momentarily blinded by the sun.
Rivas, who was not wearing a life jacket, was knocked unconscious and into the water. His body was recovered Sunday, following a 21-hour, multi-agency search. His friend, who reportedly was wearing a flotation device, also lost consciousness. Officials said she was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released from the hospital.
Family friend Ali Rodriguez organized a bake sale to help cover funeral costs and said Rivas would "forever be remembered as a [Wink-Loving ISD] Wildcat."
The 2013 Wink High School graduate was an active member of the school band. Friends said he was on track to graduate this coming year from Angelo State, where he was pursuing a double major and double minor.
"I just didn't know what to say [when I heard about the deadly accident]," Rodriguez told NewsWest 9. "I just don't have words to describe the pain."