KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A 9-year-old girl died Thursday after she was hit by a pickup outside a Florida home, according to a Florida Highway Patrol incident report.
An incident report from the Florida Highway Patrol states a 27-year-old Fort Meyers man was driving a truck that entered a residential driveway along Phlox Drive in Lee County when the child got in its way. She had been between two parked vehicles within the same driveway.
She was initially taken to the Gulf Coast Hospital but was later transported to another hospital, where she died.
Hunter LaRue said the young daughter of his friend, ranked Professional Bull Rider Joshua Spears, died after being hit by a truck on Dec. 30. LaRue described Spears’ daughter, Brooklyn Grace Spears, as “a sweetheart who loved her little brother.”
Joshua Spears had been heading to a bull riding competition in Texas when he got the call that Brooklyn had been injured. He immediately left to get to his daughter in Florida, but while on his way he learned that she had died in surgery.
“She’s never met a stranger and she came at you with open arms,” Spears said of his daughter.
Currently, Spears is in Florida trying to get funeral and travel arrangements in order.
“In the rodeo community, we’re all a close, tight-knit family, this is hurting all of us,” LaRue said. “That baby was close to all of us and they really need all the support they can get.”
A fundraiser was shared by LaRue in order to help the Spears family with funeral and travel expenses.