Scooter victim in struggle to survive

The 4-year-old girl remains hospitalized after being hit by a personal watercraft on Sunday.

Published May 22, 2007

TAMPA -- The 4-year-old girl pinned by a water scooter during a boating excursion Sunday struggles to survive at a Tampa hospital, a relative said.

Trinity Mycel Stivers of Tampa remained at St. Joseph's Hospital Monday, a day after her uncle accidentally hit her with the scooter.

Tony Regalado, 82, the girl's great-grandfather, said surgeons were still working to stop the internal bleeding. He said she had received more than 10 pints of blood in transfusions.

Regalado is the grandfather of the girl's father, Derrick Stivers, 28, who was with her at the time of the 2:15 p.m. accident.

According to police, Trinity was in the water holding on to the back of a 25-foot boat anchored near the Courtney Campbell Parkway.

As the girl munched on a snack with her elbows propped on the back of the boat, her uncle, Ariel Jesus Garcia, 40, drove toward her in a personal watercraft. He tried to stop but hit her and briefly pinned her against the boat, police said.

Derrick Stivers could not be reached for comment Monday. Regalado said he was devastated by the accident.

"He's going through hell right now," Regalado said.

He said his great-granddaughter is a bubbly, happy child who loves animals and bouncing on the trampoline.

She also enjoys being out on the water. Said Regalado, "It's one of the things she loves best."

Carrie Weimar can be reached at (813) 226-3416 or cweimar@sptimes.com.