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Belton Lake Boat Collision Suspect Charged With Negligent Homicide

Jason Stuart Bernal - Bell County Jail Photo
Jason Stuart Bernal – Bell County Jail Photo

An arrest warrant has been issued for the owner of a boat that struck and killed a 4-year-old girl at Temple Lake Park on June 23 and fatally injured her father.

Temple Police Department spokesperson Shawana Neely said Friday afternoon that the Bell County District Attorney’s Office has charged 44-year-old Jason Stuart Bernal of Killeen with a second count of criminally negligent homicide. In a news release, Neely asked that anyone with knowledge of Bernal’s whereabouts contact Temple police at (254) 298-5500 or Bell County Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-8477.

Bernal was operating a 50-foot Gibson boat at Temple Lake Park on Friday, June 23 when he allegedly struck Kaitlyn Oliver¬†with the vessel. The child became caught in the boats propeller system and was killed. Kaitlyn’s father, Patrick, tried to save the girl and lost his legs. He passed away Thursday, July 6 at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple, which prompted the Bell County DA to issue the a warrant for Bernal’s arrest.

Bernal was arrested the day of the collision and later bonded out of jail.

Note: All parties should be presumed innocent until proven guilty of a crime in a court of law. We do not encourage, nor we condone, personal threats or animosity toward anyone involved in an alleged crime or their family.

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