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Brandon Girl Struck on Bloomingdale Avenue in Critical Condition

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports additional details in the pedestrian traffic crash on Bloomingdale Avenue this morning, Nov. 16. Giunta Middle School student Andrea Bower, of Brandon, was transported to Tampa General Hospital.

Update, 6:15 p.m.:

The driver involved in this morning's accident on Bloomingdale Avenue is "fully cooperating" with investigators while the eighth-grade girl struck by the woman's sports utility vehicle remained in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital, according to a report by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The report, issued just before noon today, Nov. 16, notes that the driver, Stephanie Lynn Akins, 30, was traveling with two of her small children when the accident occured this morning at around 8:30 a.m.

That's when Andrea Bower of Brandon, a student at Giunta Middle School in Riverview, attempted to cross the busy lanes of Bloomingdale Avenue to catch the school bus at a stop across the street from where she typically waits for the bus each morning.

"This morning Andrea arrived late and missed her eastbound bus," reported deputy Larry McKinnon in the sheriff's report, issued at 11:42 a.m. "Andrea knew that her bus would return and pick up students directly across the street on the north side of Bloomingdale Avenue."

As the bus headed west, across the street and several blocks away from Bower's Buckhorn Springs Drive bus stop, the 13-year-old attempted to make a dash for it.

She was struck in the outside lane by the Ford SUV driven by Akins, who subsequently submitted to a voluntary blood draw. "Speed or alcohol does not appear to be a factor" in the accident, McKinnon said.

"There were several kids at the bus stop waiting to get picked up who witnessed the crash," he added. "School officials immediately responded to the scene and will be working with those students as well as students at Giunta Middle School."

Bower was in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital. Her family had been notified and was at the hosptial with her.

Traffic on Bloomingdale Avenue reportedly remained restricted to one lane in both directions as investigators continued their work.

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Earlier:

Extreme traffic congestion has been reported this morning, Nov. 16, after a Giunta Middle School student was struck by a vehicle at Bloomingdale Avenue and La Brisas Drive, in the Greater Brandon area of Riverview, between South Kings Avenue and Watson Road, near Winthrop.

According to a 9:43 a.m. report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the female student, a pedestrian, was transported to Tampa General Hospital in serious condition. An earlier report said the injuries were "life-threatening."

The parents of the girl and officials at the school, at 4202 South Falkenburg Road, have been notified.

Traffic homicide investigators arrived on the scene to lead the investigation.

The report notes further that "traffic in the area is extremely congested" with "both lanes down to one lane in each direction." Motorists were advised to take an alternate route of travel.

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Update Posted 11:15 a.m.

The Giunta student has been identified as Andrea Bower, 13, of Brandon. The driver in the crash has been identified as Stephanie Lynn Akins, 30, of Riverview.

At the scene, deputy Larry McKinnon, a sheriff’s spokesperson, said Bower normally catches the bus to Giunta at Bloomingdale Avenue and Buckhorn Springs Road. This morning, however, she missed the bus and attempted to catch it when it looped back west on Bloomingdale to pick up students at Bloomingdale and La Brisas Drive.

Bower was struck at 8:31 a.m, then dragged 20 feet, as she ran across Bloomingdale Avenue, McKinnon said. Akins reportedly attempted to brake but could not do so in time.

Jery Elliott November 16, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I hope the student pulls through and recovers well ... and I hope the women who struck her also recovers. From what we know so far no laws were broken on her end. . That being said ... this was a tragic and completely avoidable accident. How so? I am willing to bet that the student regularly either sees other people dashing across the 5 lanes of Bloomingdale Avenue or does so herself. I am willing that her parents do it all the time and don't give a moments thought to the poor example they are setting for their child. The entire stretch of Bloomingdale (from Lithia Pinecrest to 301) is like a giant game of frogger. . I drive this stretch regularly and see idiots dashing and running and scuttling across. The worst is when I see parents pushing baby carriages or dragging their small children along as they literally run for their lives. What do these kids learn? They learn that it's O.K. to run into traffic. They learn that cars will stop ... that everyone will see them and that it is "safe". Mommy and Daddy and my big siblings do it ... so why can't I? . It's not as though there are not plenty of places to cross in relative safety. Every major intersection has crosswalks and stop lights. But ... no ... idiots with a death wish and children who have learned by (bad) example that they should not have to spare a few minutes to walk to the corner and push a button routinely push their luck. And this is the tragic result.
J November 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM
My thoughts are with her family and the driver, I was at the scene this morning and am devastated for her and all involved
LISA KEARNEY November 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM
I would like to inform you that Andrea"s family did not nor will never cross that intersection....or any where on Bloomingdale... we are sure that she got the idea that is was safe because in the past when the driver of her school bus would forget to stop in the afternoon the driver would let her off the bus on the west bound side....and know one should be blaming any one.. it was a freak and unfortunate accident....... RIP LITTLE ONE.....
desare weaver November 19, 2012 at 04:29 AM
I had her second period at guinta middle I didn't really know her that good but not to long ago I was comforting her because one of her friends died and she was a really good artist she was the best artist in our class
desare weaver November 19, 2012 at 04:34 AM
I never met someone kind and nice and she was such an artist I pray for her and her family I didn't know her up prsonaly but she was respectful and unselfish I remember when our art teacher Mr.stover asked her to help hand out paint
Jeff November 20, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Well Jerry, I guess you were brought up in a bubble and never "pressed your luck". People take chances every day in life, you drive to work right? All I'm saying is don't be a Dick man, Chill. The little girl has passed and no one needs to be blamed.
Justice April 22, 2013 at 04:08 PM
She was my cousin.... i miss her a lot

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