TEMPLE, Texas (KWKT) — New details have been released about a boating accident that left one child dead and one man in serious condition.
After an arrest affidavit released Monday, witnesses say they told 47-year-old Jason Bernal, who was driving his houseboat, to stop reversing his boat because there were children in the water.
The accident happened Friday in Temple Lake Park when Patrick Oliver was swimming with his 4-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn.
Bernal told police he didn’t see anyone in the water, however multiple witnesses say they screamed warning him to stop driving.
Kaitlyn got stuck inside the propellers and when Patrick tried to save her, his legs got caught.
“He did have both of his legs amputated and my little Katilyn lost her life,” said Patrick’s aunt, Christine Alfonso, who drove from San Antonio to be with Patrick while he undergoes his third surgery, “There’s many more to come, the recovery process is a long way to go, but I think more than losing his legs, it’s losing Kaitlyn.”
Temple police have not confirmed whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident.
“I don’t care if it’s a skateboard, a car, a boat, if you’ve been drinking, do not get behind the wheel,” said Alfonso.
Family members tell Fox 44 News, Kaitlyn was going to start kindergarten in the fall and would’ve turned five in August.
“Temple Lake park was Katilyn’s favorite place to go, they were just having fun and swimming,” a family member said.
Bernal is now facing negligent homicide charges, but is not listed as a current inmate in the Bell County Jail as of Monday night.
Alfonso says Patrick was in between jobs and does not have health insurance.
The family has set up a GoFundMe Account here.
A public viewing for Kaitlyn will be set for later this week at Crotty Funeral Home in Belton.