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Riverview Girl Dies in Bull Riding Accident 

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Old 02-21-2011, 01:16 AM
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Riverview Girl Dies in Bull Riding Accident

TAMPA - A 16-year-old girl from Riverview died in a bull riding accident Friday night, Hillsborough County deputies say.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesman, Det. Larry McKinnon, says 16-year-old Brooke Ann Coats was bull riding last night at a local rodeo when she was thrown from a bull and kicked once in the chest.

Coats was able to stand and walk out of the ring but began having breathing problems and collapsed.

An off-duty paramedic treated Coats until Hillsborough County Fire Rescue arrived and transported her to Tampa General Hospital. Coats died during surgery.

Deputies say it appears to be a tragic accident.

Nancy MacLauchlan, her swim coach at Riverview High School, said she was a wonderful girl who always had a big smile on her face. Coats' uncle put up a poster board just outside the rodeo venue on US 301 that up so that people can pass by and write messages in order to remember Brook.

He was too distraught to go on camera. but said she doing what she loved. The Crosstown Arena sits empty Saturday but flowers have been placed just outside the gates.

Authorities say they are making sure everything here was in place.

"We are going to look into that and try to determine and make sure through OSHA and other government agencies that all the permits were done and that there was no liability in the cause of death of this girl," Hillsborough Sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon explained.

At Riverview High students were heartbroken.

"I was in complete shock," classmate Adrian Guzman said, "She was a girl I just saw walking every day. I saw her all the time. It is really sad. "

We were told Brooke was an experienced bull rider and Friday night she was wearing a helmet and a vest. Her parents did sign a waiver for her to be able to ride the bull.

The rodeo's organizers did release a statement saying they "are stunned by the turn of events and that they feel horrible for Brook and their family. Brook was a favorite of the rodeo family because of her love for the sport."

Coats' school spirit was missed Saturday night as the Riverview High womens' basketball team took on the Winter Haven Blue Devils for a spot at the state final four tournament.

"She was just very school spirited," said friend Lindsey Driver.

What her school really needed, though, was her attitude.

"She certainly was not afraid to try something like riding a bull," said principal Bob Heilmann. "If you looked up the word alive in the dictionary you may find her picture."

The Riverview Sharks led the game until the very end when the lead turned to the Blue Devils with just minutes left.

Though Coats' team lost, her friends say the victory is that her team played like she lived - they gave it their all.

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Old 02-21-2011, 12:55 PM
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Re: Riverview Girl Dies in Bull Riding Accident

some animals were never meant to be riden. poor kid.

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:20 PM
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Re: Riverview Girl Dies in Bull Riding Accident

If you ride a bull, you have to expect to be caught up in the bull rope or kicked or butted in the head. People die. I wouldn't sign anything allowing my sixteen year old to do it.

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:55 PM
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Re: Riverview Girl Dies in Bull Riding Accident

For some people, this is just a way of life. Like racing families. The kids start driving on the track with the adults at 12 and sometimes younger.

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