Stuffed animals, photographs and mementoes lay at the base of a roadside memorial that bears a sign that says: "RIP Andrea Bower." On the sign, family, friends and community members are stopping to put words to paper in memory of the 13-year-old, an eighth-grader at Giunta Middle School, who died from injuries suffered in a traffic crash on Bloomingdale Avenue, near Las Brisas Drive.
Andrea Bower was struck Nov. 16 by a Ford sports-utility vehicle as she attempted to cross the lanes of Bloomingdale Avenue to catch the bus to school there. Minutes earlier, she had missed the bus at her regular bus stop, across the street at Buckhorn Springs Drive.
Five women were at the roadside memorial Nov. 17 to post the sign and add mementos. They talked about Bower, and the void her death has left for family, friends and neighbors. A fundraiser for the family is in the works.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the accident occurred at around 8:30 a.m., as Bower attempted to cross the lanes of one of the Greater Brandon area’s most busiest thoroughfares.
Patch will continue to post photos of the growing memorial in the days ahead. To upload your own photos, use the link above.