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H.S. Athlete Dies of Heart Attack

September 8, 2002

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DETROIT (AP) _ A 15-year-old high school football player who collapsed at a game died of a heart attack, an autopsy showed Saturday.

Southwestern High School student Eric Simpson, who had just made a tackle, collapsed Friday while standing on the field during a time-out, the Detroit Free Press reported.

``He was standing next to the official. He just fell over,″ said head coach Danny Foster, who went with Simpson in an ambulance to St. John Hospital.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Saturday evening the cause of death was a heart attack. Team staff and emergency medical personnel performed CPR on Simpson at the game before he was taken to the hospital.

Principal Betty Hines said Simpson had undergone a physical and was cleared to play football. Hines said doctors told her there was nothing that could have indicated the student would suffer heart failure.

Foster described Simpson as a budding defensive tackle and offensive guard and said his death is a loss for the school.

``He’s a great kid to be around. He’s an excellent young man,″ Foster said. ``I can’t think of anyone at the school that didn’t know Eric.″

The incident came the same week that a 10-year-old girl in Illinois died after collapsing during football practice, and that a 16-year-old Texas boy had his leg amputated after an injury during a football game.

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