Why did a 16-year-old high school football player die during a Friday night game? It’s a question that Winnsboro, Louisiana, residents have asked and local authorities are working hard to answer.
According to ABC News, Franklin Parish Patriots player Tyrell Cameron suffered a fatal injury during Friday night’s game. Aaron Monnin, a friend and teammate, told ABC News Cameron tripped and fell awkwardly during a 4th quarter punt return.
“He kind of stumbled and kind of hit [another player] in the chest area… The bottom part of his face mask got caught in the middle of [the other player’s] pads and pushed his head backwards.”
Witnesses claim that Tyrell didn’t move after the initial contact. He was soon after stretchered from the field. KTLA reports that the high school football player died shortly after being transferred to Franklin Medical Center. The Franklin Parish Coroner’s Office has yet to announce a cause of death, but CNN affiliate KNOE reports Tyrell broke his neck.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 5, 2015
Head coach Barry Sebren posted a message about the tragedy to the Franklin Parish High School’s official Facebook page.
“Tyrell was a brother, a cousin, a son, a team member, a Patriot and a friend to so many people. We ask “Why Lord? Why Tyrell?” We may never know the answer but we will try to remember him the way he represented his family, his school and teammates. A Patriot Forever.”
The cause of Tyrell Cameron’s death remains under investigation. USA Today writes that the Franklin Parish sheriff’s department has yet to make an official comment about the incident. The coroner’s office is reportedly working to determine if any pre-existing conditions might have caused Cameron’s death.
Condolences have since poured into the small community from throughout the region and across the country.
Tyrell will live on in the memory of those who loved him. Prayers for his family. Support from throughout the state is greatly appreciated
— FPHS-athletics (@fphs_athletics) September 5, 2015
— David Folse II (@davidfolse) September 5, 2015
Dianne and I send our prayers to the young man who died in tonight's football game, his family and the Franklin Parish community.
— Rep. Ralph Abraham (@RepAbraham) September 5, 2015
KTLA notes that the death of Tyrell Cameron marks the second major football injury this week where a high school student broke their neck during a game. Sixteen-year-old Jasiel Favors of Round Rock, Texas, collided with two football players during his junior varsity game. The resulting injury wasn’t fatal, but it left Favors paralyzed from the waist down.
News source KTLA remarked that there are 77 known cases where high school football players have died due to football-related injuries. More than a million high school students play the sport ever year, leaving the door open to similar tragedies. What can be done to better protect these young athletes from serious injury or potential death? Please share your thoughts below.
[Image Credit: Screen Grab From Facebook/Franklin Parish High School]