KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – A professionally graded Knoxville native bull rider mourns the loss of his daughter. Brooklyn Spears, 9, was hit and killed by a pickup truck while staying with her mother in Florida, according to her father, Joshua Spears.
Joshua Spears is now in Florida looking for answers.
Spears was on his way to a bull riding competition in Texas when he said he got a call saying his daughter had been injured. He dropped everything and drove straight to Florida, reaching Atlanta before another call came in.
“I got a phone call saying she passed away, and since then it’s been really tough going through the process,” Spears said.
A report from the Florida Highway Patrol explains what happened. The report states that Brooklyn Spears was struck by a pickup truck in a driveway, after getting out of between two cars parked in the driveway of a third. But why it happened is something Joshua Spears has a hard time figuring out.
“No one has given us answers as to what happened and why, and I’m not leaving here until I find this closure,” he said.
He said that while he was in Florida his strength came from the people here in East Tennessee.
“I’m happy and grateful to each of our friends, and everyone involved in the State of Tennessee, for helping me through this process because it is very, very hard and difficult.”
Spears now clings to memories of his daughter Brooklyn, who would have turned 10 in February. Their favorite activity to do together was to go to daddy-daughter dances. Spears said it was wrapped around Brooklyn’s finger.
“She wanted to go to this fairytale ball,” he laughed through tears. Of course, dad couldn’t say no. “We only had one full day. We went to have breakfast next to the flour mill in Norris, Tennessee where we also did a photoshoot and it was the best day ever.
Spears added, “We went to that fairytale ball, and I ended up being the only dad there and I was the only parent in disguise.”
These are the times he says he will cherish the most.
“She was my world,” he said through tears. “She was the sweetest person you could meet. She has never met strangers, she has always been friendly with everyone. Always helping, wanting to learn new things.
Spears is now preparing the funeral and travel arrangements. He said he was trying to work with Florida law enforcement on his daughter’s case. No charges have yet been filed against the man driving, but the case is still under investigation.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral and travel expenses.