Grand jury indicts local man in deadly houseboat accident

Jason Bernal (Jail Photo)
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Jason Bernal, 44, who’s accused of being at the wheel of a houseboat that struck and killed a 4-year-old girl and her father this summer on Lake Belton, was indicted Wednesday on two counts of criminally negligent homicide and two counts of intoxication manslaughter.

Kaitlyn Oliver died on June 23 at Scott & White Medical Center after the three-story houseboat backed over her and caught her in its propeller.

Her father, Patrick, 37, attempted to save his daughter, but lost his legs in the attempt.

He died on July 9.

Bernal was charged with criminally negligent homicide in the girl’s death and was released from jail after posting $150,000 bond.

He was charged with a second count of criminally negligent homicide after Patrick Oliver died and was ordered held in lieu of $200,000 bond.

After the second arrest, Bernal’s attorney, Barrett Thomas, issued a statement in which he said there was “currently no evidence that he was intoxicated on the day of the accident” and that “several witnesses have indicated his engine was running and he yelled ‘clear’ well before backing up his boat.”

The indictments say Bernal operated "a watercraft while intoxicated by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body and did by reason of such intoxication cause the death of another."

They don't say what his blood-alcohol level was at the time of the deadly accident.