Father loses legs trying to save young daughter from boat propeller

Peter Castro
June 27, 2017

Temple police said in a statement that the 37-year-old man was attempting to rescue his 4-year-old daughter Friday evening after she was struck by the propeller of a craft described by authorities as a recreational house boat.

The two were taken to Scott and White Hospital, where Katlyn Oliver died from her injuries.

The operator of the houseboat, Jason Stuart Bernal, 44, of Killeen, was charged with criminally negligent homicide. Bernal told authorities that he could not see behind him due to his boat being three stories tall.

She was pronounced dead at Scott and White Hospital by Justice of the Peace David Barfield. Her father, Patrick, tried to save Kaitlyn, but his legs were severed in the process, police said Friday.

The girl sustained multiple lacerations all over her body.

Temple police said that's when her father jumped in to save her, but became tangled up in the propeller as well.

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The papers quoted another female witness as saying that when the houseboat began to back up she shouted to Bernal to say there were people behind the boat.

The witness said she told the driver of the boat not to park in the area because there were children swimming the area.

A crowdfunding page has been set up for Patrick and Kaitlyn Oliver.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, after the Temple Police Department in Texas presented its case against Bernal, a complaint that he had committed criminal negligent homicide was issued against him by the Bell County district attorney's office on Sunday afternoon.

Crotty Funeral home in Belton has also offered to cover Kaitlyn's funeral free of charge.

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