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Apex Teen Dies In Religious Camp Accident

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APEX, N.C. — Apex High School's student body president died Saturday after he fell from a zip line during a religious retreat, authorities said.

Ozzie Vargas Jr., 17, died at Camp Oak Hill, north of Oxford, while riding on one of two zip lines that run from a 47-foot-tower into a 9-acre lake, authorities said. According to his cousin, Kyle Medero, Vargas' harness released from the line before he reached the lake. Medero was sliding down the other zip line at the time.

The accident led the camp to shut down the ride, said Peter Dubbelman, minister of administration at Apex Baptist Church, where Vargas was a member.

Vargas, the third student from Apex High to die this year, played the drums, was a member of the school's junior varsity soccer team and worked at North Carolina State University's Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. He hoped to attend NCSU next year and become a video game programmer.

"Ozzie was an effervescent leader," Dubbelman said. "He captured a lot of hearts."

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