TAMPA - A 16-year-old Riverview girl died Friday night from injuries sustained while riding a bull.
According to a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office report, Brooke Ann Coats was pronounced dead at approximately 10 pm during a surgery at Tampa General Hospital.
Authorities say Coats was riding a bull at 301 Rodeo when she was thrown from the animal and kicked at least once in the chest. The teen was able to stand and walk out of the ring but began experiencing difficulty breathing and collapsed a short time later.
"She was thrown from the bull and at some point we believe kicked in the chest," said HCSO Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon.
A paramedic on scene at the facility located at US Highway 301 and the Crosstown Expressway treated Coats until she was transported by Hillsborough County Fire Rescue to TGH. The tragic accident occurred at around 8:30 pm Friday according to the HCSO report.
Early Saturday morning family and friends of the Riverview High School student began placing flowers outside 301 Rodeo in tribute. Adrian Guzman, a classmate of Coats, was one of the first to pay his respects.
"I know that bull riding was one of her really important hobbies. . . she really liked that stuff," said Guzman, who had known Brooke since middle school. "She was really quiet and really shy, but she was a beautiful girl. She will be missed."
The investigation into what went wrong is ongoing but detectives do not suspect any foul play. The owner of the facility, Corey Costa, did not return phone calls about the matter and none of the other employees would dicuss the accident or the company's rules regarding participation in the rodeo.
"It's been here quite a long time and generally we have never had any problems here," McKinnon added. "I was told that the [victim's] parents were here and they did sign a waiver allowing her to participate."