A young girl and her father died this past June in a houseboat accident in Central Texas, according to KXAN. On June 23rd, 37-year-old Patrick Oliver and his daughter, Kaitlyn, were swimming. Kaitlyn was 4 years old. At one point, a large houseboat reversed into the area where they were swimming, and Kaitlyn got entangled in the propellers. Patrick attempted to free her but was sadly unsuccessful. Not only that, but both of his legs got caught in the propellers as well. Kaitlyn died in the water. Patrick was rushed to the hospital.
Once there, doctors decided that his legs were beyond saving, and amputated them both. He spent the next two weeks in the hospital before succumbing to his injuries. His aunt, Christine Alfonso, mentioned the amputation surgeries, and that there would have been many more had he survived. While he was fighting his own battle, she said that it wasn’t his legs that had him in despair, it was the loss of his daughter. Kaitlyn was set to begin attending kindergarten next fall and was to turn 5 this month. Temple Lake park, where the accident occurred, was apparently Kaitlyn’s favorite place to be, according to a family member.
The driver of the boat, Jason Bernal, was charged with negligent homicide, and it’s believed that alcohol was involved in the accident. He claimed afterwards that he didn’t see anyone in the water behind his boat, but witnesses to the incident claim that they were yelling at him to warn him of the nearby swimmers. After his arrest, he was released on bail pending trial, however, the police issues another warrant for his arrest. His attorney stated that he had not fled, and that he was cooperating with police on his second arrest.
According to affidavits made to the police, Bernal called out “clear” and put the boat in reverse. Footage from the dash cam of a police vehicle shows several swimmers behind the boat as it went into reverse. One witness claimed that the boat was in “full throttle” when it backed up into the swimmers. Bernal has a history of arrests dating back to 2006. His charges run the gamut from assault, driving while intoxicated, and criminal trespassing.
Boating and watersports are wonderful hobbies that provide so much fun and memories each summer. It’s important, however, to make sure that you are as safe as possible for yourself, and for those around you. This goes especially if you’re piloting a vehicle with propellers since they present extra risk.
Unfortunately, accidents are a fact of life, and people are injured or killed almost every day, often through no fault of their own. Navigating insurance claims and potentially the legal system to get compensation is no easy task. If you’re in that situation, make sure to contact a Houston accident attorney to assess your case and answer any questions you may have. They are your best bet for fair compensation.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.