BELTON - Belton Lake boaters gathered Saturday to honor Kaitlyn Oliver, who tragically died after being run over by a houseboat at Temple Lake Park.
Pink flags and streamers could be seen across Belton Lake -- it was Kaitlyn's favorite color. Many who came out for the procession were parents themselves. After the Tragedy, many struggled with a realization -- it could have been them mourning the loss of their own child.
"I think of it as a tragedy, it could have happened to a lot of parents out there," Morgan's Point resident David Gavril said.
But the tragedy has also pulled the Central Texas community together, including local first responders. Morgan's Point Fire Department led the procession in Marine 61, a rescue craft.
Kaitlyn Oliver's passing affected Fire Chief John Phillips personally.
"Having our own children, but also being involved in the scene... it brings a closure to that aspect of the job also," Phillips said.
More than 40 boats participated in the procession for Oliver. They crept slowly into Temple Lake Park, and stopped in the cove where she died.
"After the accident we just could not find ourselves enjoying the lake anymore, until we showed our respect for the family, and had personal closure," Billy Wren, procession organizer, said.
To memorialize the 4-year-old, Marine 61 fired its water cannons across the cove to give Kaitlyn one final salute, followed by a moment of silence.
"There's no words that you can say in the English language that expresses the tragedy," Wren said, "All we can do is express outwardly our gratitude... in the only way we know how. "
Friends of Kaitlyn Oliver and her family have set up a GoFundMe page to help Kaitlyn's father through recovery.
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