Fort Worth

She was changing the oil on her car. She died after being pinned beneath it

From left, Kristin and Stephanie Vinson
From left, Kristin and Stephanie Vinson Kristin Vinson

An Amarillo woman who'd been living in Fort Worth for about a year died after becoming trapped beneath her car while performing an oil change, according to police and the Tarrant County medical examiner.

"The victim was working under the vehicle when the vehicle slipped off the jack and the victim was pinned under the car," said Fort Worth police spokesman Daniel Segura.

Stephanie Vinson, 35, died early Sunday morning at John Peter Smith Hospital, according to the medical examiner. The incident happened just before 4 p.m. on Saturday in the 3300 block of Tom Ellen St.

Vinson was living in Fort Worth to care for her grandparents, said her sister, Kristin Vinson.

"Steph has been my best friend for my whole life," she said via text message. "She's influenced every little thing I do. It is going to be so incredibly difficult without her."

While still grieving, the family says it is hoping Stephanie's story will serve as a cautionary tale to others.

Kristin Vinson said the hope is that others will "learn from her tragedy to always use the buddy system when doing work with tools, equipment, and car work. While it wouldn't have necessarily saved her life, maybe the reminder can save someone else."

Stephanie Vinson graduated from Texas State University in 2007, Kristin Vinson said. She specialized in internet graphic design but became a perfumer using essential oils who started selling through Etsy in 2006 as Stephanie K. Naturals.

In 2009, the sisters found a seasonal Renaissance festival called Sherwood Forest Faire in McDade east of Austin where they could sell their wares. Kristin Vinson, a costume seller, and Stephanie Vinson went in together on a shop at Sherwood Forest called Iris Adornments & Apothecary, Kristin Vinson said.

Their shop had been part of the festival every year, Kristin Vinson said.

"She's an all-around creative. She loved to paint, to make jewelry, to create graphics for online use, and of course to blend oils to create amazing scents," Kristin Vinson said.

"All of our friends have been sharing what a sweet and loving person she is. She's the most wonderful sister, so caring and loving," she said.

Jimmy Peace, a photographer at Sherwood Forest Faire, said, "Stephanie was a golden ray of sunshine and talented like her sister."

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WFAA-TV footage of an unidentified Dallas interfaith memorial service April 7, 1968, for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. shows the sadness of the moment.

Stephen English: 817-390-7330, @sbenglish74