13-year-old girl struck by SUV while trying to catch school bus dies




A 13-year-old girl died Friday after she was struck by an SUV as she ran to catch her school bus at Bloomingdale Avenue and Las Brisas Drive  in Riverview.


Andrea Bower passed away shortly after 5 p.m. at Tampa General Hospital. Her family was with her when she died.




Stephanie Akins says she was coming from dropping her son off at school, around 8:30, when she saw Bower.  " I saw this little girl in the median. I even thought to myself, 'she won't run," Akins said.


That's when Akins said the teen ran across the street. Akins said she ran right into her.  "She came from the left front side and hit my bumper and her body went under my car. I was trying to get away." Akins stopped her vehicle and got out to check on the child. She made sure she was still breathing, then put a blanket over her. Akins said, "I just kept thinking that I can't imagine the pain she's going through and I was just hoping she's going to live." 


Bower, an 8th grader at Giunta Middle School, was headed to class. Sheriff's deputies tell ABC Action News the teen missed her bus, which was headed East on Bloomingdale. The bus turned around to pick her up on the other side of the street. That's when investigators say Bower tried to cross and was struck.


Shortly after the accident, family friend Wanda Miller drove Bower's mother to the hospital. Miller said, "She was just in disbelief and crying and trying to call her family and just trying to get anybody she could and just saying she couldn't believe it."


Meanwhile, Stephanie Akins says her heart and prayers go out to the Bower family. Akins said, "I really feel so much for this family and I hope that everything will be alright."


Investigators say Akins is not facing any charges for the accident.


Hillsborough County School Board officials say Bower had a perfect attendance record at school and was trying to keep her flawless record.

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