High school football cheerleader collapses, dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A high school cheerleader died early Saturday, hours after collapsing on the sideline during a football game between rival Los Angeles schools.

The student was briefly revived after passing out Friday night on the sideline at Fremont High School, according to Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman. She was rushed to a hospital where she died about three hours later.

The girl, a student at Washington Prep High School, apparently suffered sudden cardiac arrest, Waldman said.

“This was a wonderful young lady. It is a catastrophic loss for the school and for the community,” school district Superintendent John Deasy said Saturday. “My heart goes out to her family.”

A witness, Cameron Bonner, told City News Service the Washington Prep squad tied the game against Fremont in the fourth quarter when the cheerleader collapsed. Play was stopped and coaches and trainers ran to help the girl.

“They had just tied the game up, and the cheerleaders were pumped up,” Bonner said. Angela appeared “to just pass out,” he said.

Bystanders performed CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

“All of her friends were in a circle crying,” Bonner said.

School officials did not release the student’s name. Washington Prep Principal Todd Ullah told KABC-TV that the girl, 16-year-old sophomore Angela Gettis, was a good student at the school.

Crisis counselors will be at Washington Prep on Monday to help students and faculty deal with the death, Deasy said.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office will perform an autopsy.

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