Girl, 13, Dies After Being Struck By Car On Bloomingdale Avenue

Andrea Bower was surrounded by her family when she died at 5 p.m. tonight.

This morning she was rushing to catch her school bus, anticipating the final day of school before the Thanksgiving break.

But tonight the family of 13-year-old Guinta Middle School student Andrea Bower is mourning her death.

The little girl was crossing busy Bloomingdale Avenue at 8:30 a.m., trying to catch the school bus in front of the Las Brisas neighborhood when she ran into the path of a Ford SUV driven by Stephanie Lynn Akins, 30, of of 4922 Chatham Gate Dr., Riverview.

Although Akins braked, it was too late to prevent her from hitting the girl with her car and dragging her 20 feet.

Bower, of 3428 Buckhorn Springs Rd., Riverview, was taken to Tampa General Hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was reportedly surrounded by members of her family when she died at 5 p.m.

According to sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon, the Guinta student normally boards the school bus outside her neighborhood at Buckhorn Springs Road and Bloomingdale Avenue. However, this morning she was running late. She missed the bus that stopped in front of her neighborhood but resolved to catch it again when it looped back around and headed west on Bloomingdale Avenue, stopping at Las Brisas Drive.

A group of students awaiting the bus at Las Brisas watched as Bower spotted the bus returning and darted across Bloomingdale Avenue to join the other students at the bus stop. Bower was struck in the center westbound lane.

Akins, who had two of her small children in the car, is fully cooperating with the investigation. She has submitted to a voluntary blood draw and the sheriff's office said speed or alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

J November 17, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Im so very sorry for your loss, please make sure you talk to someone to help you through this.
rosa ashour November 17, 2012 at 04:09 PM
My heart goes out to the family that suffered this tragic loss. May God give you the strength to get through this. May you find comfort in each other and most importantly in Gods promises as quoted in revelation 21:4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
Kristen Kearney November 17, 2012 at 09:18 PM
We Love You Baby Girl May You Rest In Peace .. Gone But not forgotten. Your In A Much Safer Nd Better Place
Desiree Miller November 18, 2012 at 04:23 AM
This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with ): I will watch your brother & mom for you baby girl ! R.I.P Andrea , I'll miss you ....
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