Patrick Oliver, the father maimed in a boating accident that killed his 4-year-old daughter, lost a two-week battle for his life Thursday morning,
Oliver was pronounced dead at 9:34 a.m. at Scott & White Medical Center-Temple by Bell County Justice of the Peace G.W. Ivey.
His death comes a week after daughter Kaitlyn Oliver’s public visitation at Temple Bible Church. Kaitlyn died June 23 when a houseboat backed into her at Temple Lake Park on Lake Belton.
Oliver, who was distraught about his daughter’s death, died with members of his family surrounding him, Ivey said.
Ivey sent Oliver’s body to Dallas for an autopsy at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences.
Oliver’s legs were amputated when he tried to rescue Kaitlyn from the houseboat’s propellers that had her trapped under water at the Temple park. He quickly underwent three surgeries to try to repair the extensive damage.
Along the way, Oliver had to deal with the emotional turmoil of his daughter’s death, pneumonia and high fever, family members said.
“She (Kaitlyn) was definitely a major daddy’s girl and had him (Patrick) wrapped around her finger,” Adrianna DeLeon, one of Kaitlyn’s aunts who lives in California, said after Kaitlyn’s death.
Mary Ann Mayfield, Kaitlyn’s mother, said after Kaitlyn’s death, “Her father loved her so much that he wanted to give his own life to save hers. That’s how special she was.”
DeLeon couldn’t talk Thursday but asked in a message for prayers for her family.
Oliver wasn’t able to attend his daughter’s visitation, and the family was waiting to hold a private family service for Kaitlyn when her father could be there so that he could get closure, DeLeon previously said.
Kaitlyn died of wounds from the propeller and drowning, according to her autopsy results.
A GoFundMe account set up for Pat and Kaitlyn Oliver showed donations Thursday totaling $67,998. The proceeds are designated for hospital bills, funeral costs and related expenses that the Oliver family faced.
Crotty Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Belton is absorbing the entire cost of both Kaitlyn’s and Oliver’s funeral expenses, but no arrangements have been made yet, business owner Jarrah Crotty said Thursday.
Additional charges pending
Already charged with criminally negligent homicide for Kaitlyn’s death is 44-year-old Jason Bernal of Killeen.
Bernal will most likely face an additional charge after Oliver’s death, Ivey said.
Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said members of his staff were saddened Thursday to learn that Patrick Oliver died.
“We are in the process of reviewing this case at this time,” Garza said.
Bernal reportedly ran over Kaitlyn at about 6:47 p.m. June 23 while backing up his three-story houseboat in the shallow water off Sandy Point at Temple Lake Park.
An arrest affidavit said that Bernal told investigators that he yelled “clear” before putting the boat in reverse and heard no responses. Others at the park yelled for Bernal to stop. A video in police custody reportedly showed the boat in the water with people behind it in waist-deep water.
Bernal admitted to Temple Police Department investigators that he couldn’t see behind him and didn’t hear people yelling for him to stop, an arrest affidavit said.
A witness to the tragedy told a police officer that she previously told Bernal to stop parking his boat in the area because children swam there.
Bernal was released from the Bell County Jail the Sunday after Kaitlyn’s death after posting $150,000 bond.