The Texas father of a 4-year-old girl killed in a tragic houseboat accident died from the injuries he suffered while attempting to rescue her.
Kaitlyn Oliver was swimming at Temple Lake Park the evening of June 23 when a nearby houseboat began to approach her in reverse. The 4-year-old’s father, Patrick Oliver, tried to save her when she became entangled in the propeller, but only became stuck himself, KVUE reported.
Kaitlyn was pronounced dead the same day and her father’s legs were amputated after the collision. An autopsy stated the girl died as a result of “numerous chopping wounds and drowning.”
Oliver succumbed to his injuries Thursday and died at Scott & White Hospital surrounded by family, according to the news station, according to KXXV.
The boat’s driver, Jason Bernal, told police he didn’t see anyone in the water when he started to move his boat. The 44-year-old yelled out “clear,” and after no response, put the houseboat in reverse, according to an arrest affidavit cited by mySA.com.
One witness “stated she was shouting that people were behind the boat when it began to back up” and another told Temple Police the “boat was in full throttle while backing up.”
The latter witness said she tried to help the injured pair after the incident and that she warned Bernal about all the children swimming in the area beforehand, according to the affidavit.
Bernal was charged with criminally negligent homicide, according to the news site. He’s been arrested on a number of separate charges since 2006, including driving while intoxicated, theft, assault, causing bodily injury of a family member and criminal trespassing.
A GoFundMe page set up to cover medical and funeral costs for the family has already raised more than $ 69,000.