Tampa, Florida - Keith Coats says the pain is fresh and the grief is never ending after losing his precious daughter, Brooke.
The 16-year-old bright, bubbly and talented young woman died during a bull-riding competition two years ago when the 900-pound animal kicked her in the chest at the Crosstown Arena off of US 301.
But the owner of the arena, Corey Costa, disputes that.
He claims that Brooke fell off of the 900-pound bull the wrong way, and onto her ribcage.
Sources say that Brooke was wearing her own safety gear that night, a mask, a mouthpiece and a vest.
The family attorney, Patton Youngblood, says Brooke's father is devastated, along with the entire family. Youngblood filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Coats family, suing both Costa and the owner of the Crosstown Arena.
A dollar amount has not been set in the lawsuit.
The arena is now for sale, and sources say that the rodeo has been shut down for three years.
"The family knows that the people there that night did not act quickly," said Youngblood. "This is something the family will never get over. How can they?"
Costa refused to answer any questions from 10 News today. In fact, when we showed up to the Remington Rough Stock Rodeo offices in Brandon, we were informed by an assistant to Costa that he told staffers, "Tell the media I'm not here."
Despite leaving contact information, Costa never returned a phone call.
One mother, who has been to the arena, is devatasted by the tragedy.
"That girl may have survived if the ambulance had been there, and it didn't take 10 minutes to get there. So, there was a delay in calling," Donna Maggiacomo told10 News.
Those who have been to the rodeo at the Crosstown Arena in the past said there was never an ambulance on hand, only a volunteer firefighter who is compensated by a donation to the firehouse.
Costa has said in the past that after 18 years, there's never been a problem.
10 News checked it out and found that Hillsborough Code Enforcement has never investigated a case at the arena.
Teens must have their parents sign a waiver, as Brooke's did.
Friends told 10 News her mother hesitated, but at the urging of her husband, signed it. They wanted their little girl to live her dream.
"That girl could have made it, that's what we're upset about," said Donna.
One of Brooke's closest friends said he's crushed that he'll never see her again.
"I feel like she's just not at school today, and tomorrow she'll be back there right where she belongs,"Christian Castellano said as he wiped away tears.
An investigation by the sheriff's office determined that the rodeo operator was conducting a proper event, within state law and applicable administrative code. All the necessary paperwork was in order, the sheriff's office said.
However, the Coats family maintains there wer not enough safety precautions that night, and that the people there did not help Brooke quickly enough to save her life.
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