By Mitch Traphagen
RIVERVIEW — A Riverview teenager has died from injuries sustained while taking part in a sport she loved. Brooke Ann Coats, 16, died at Tampa General Hospital at approximately 10 p.m. on Friday.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 8:30 that evening, Coats was bull riding when she was thrown from the bull and kicked at least once in the chest. She was able to stand and walk out of the ring but began experiencing difficulty breathing and subsequently collapsed. An off-duty paramedic treated Coats until Hillsborough Fire Rescue arrived to transport her to Tampa General Hospital. She passed away during surgery.
According to friends and witnesses on the scene, Coats was an experienced bull rider and was wearing a protective vest and helmet at the time of the accident.
Grief counselors were on hand at Riverview High School where Coats was a sophomore. Friends have started both a Facebook group and memorial page in her honor, entitled RIP Brooke Coats.
The HCSO is still investigating the incident but there is no suspicion of foul play at this time.