A heated high school football rivalry turned tragic on the sidelines on Friday night when a cheerleader for one of the schools collapsed and was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
According to the Associated Press, KABC-TV Los Angeles and CBS Los Angeles, among other sources, 16-year-old Angela Gettis was pronounced dead some three hours after she was transported to a local hospital from the annual football matchup between Los Angeles (Calif.) Washington Prep High and Los Angeles (Calif.) Fremont High, which was played at Fremont.
The football game was halted as coaches and trainers ran in to assist the collapsed cheerleader and perform CPR until emergency paramedics could arrive. According to Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman, Gettis was briefly revived after she collapsed, but never fully recovered from an incident which the AP reported seemed to be a case of sudden cardiac arrest.
"Washington High School, like every other high school, has its share of unfortunate incidents regarding youth," Washington Prep principal Todd Ullah told the press in a statement delivered on Saturday. "We prepare for that, but you can never really prepare for that. It's devastating. It's tragic."
KABC reported that crisis counselors will be available at Washington Prep throughout Monday as students and staff report back for the first time following the tragic incident, with many of those already leaving their thoughts and memories on a Facebook page dedicated to the fallen cheerleader.
Still, that will hardly ease the heartbreak over the loss of a talented teen cheerleader who was taken so suddenly, as witness Cameron Bonner made clear to CBS Los Angeles.
"They had just tied the game up, and the cheerleaders were pumped up," Bonner said. Angela appeared "to just pass out," he said.
"All of her friends were in a circle crying," Bonner said. "It was so confusing, they were all so concerned about this little angel."
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