East Ridge High student dies after JROTC training

East Ridge High student dies after JROTC training

September 1st, 2010 by Michael Stone in Local Regional News

A 17-year-old female student at East Ridge High School died Tuesday after collapsing during physical training with the school's Junior ROTC program.

Emergency responders were dispatched at 3:20 p.m. to the school, at 4320 Bennett Road, and found that CPR already had been started by coaches and staff, said Erik Hopkins, spokesman for the East Ridge Department of Public Safety.

CPR was continued while the student was being transported to Parkridge East Hospital, Hopkins said, and she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. A cause of death was not released.

The teenager's name is being withheld, police said. School officials have been unable to reach the teen's parents because they're out of the country, but a relative of the girl's has been contacted, said Danielle Clark, spokeswoman for Hamilton County Schools.

The girl, a senior, had just begun running when she collapsed, Clark said.

Further details about the incident were unavailable late Tuesday.

Hamilton County Board of Education member Chip Baker said that when a student dies, officials "do everything [they] can" to help deal with the loss.

"We are obviously very focused on the children to see what their needs are, and we do that through our counselors to make sure we're providing any and all services that we need," he said. "If we need more services, we'll utilize some of the local agencies like churches."

Baker mentioned the injuries of Signal Mountain Middle-High School student David Anderson. The 16-year-old junior dislocated two vertebrae, which partially paralyzed him, diving into an above-ground pool from a trampoline on Aug. 22.

"It hits home [when a student is injured or dies]," he said. "As a school system, as a community, as parents, it's incumbent upon all of us to be there to support our children."