Hezekiah Walters, 14, Died During Football Practice at Florida High School

Hezekiah Walters

Facebook Hezekiah Walters, 14, collapsed and died during high school football drills.

A 14-year-old from Tampa collapsed around 4 p.m. Tuesday at Middleton High School during a football conditioning drill. Hezekiah Walters was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Walters was an incoming freshman at the school.

Local media reports he was with team members on the football field performing conditioning exercises including lifting weights and wind sprints when police say the boy collapsed. It was 90 degrees in Tampa Tuesday.

WFLA reported Thursday that the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner completed its initial report. When rushed to the hospital, Walters had a temperature of 102.

“According to the report, Walters was running sprints and “ladder drills” for about 20 minutes with one water break. Around 3:45 p.m., the medical examiner says Walters started to “vomit then seizure.”

CPR was performed at the scene while waiting for Tampa Fire Rescue to arrive. The medical examiner report says Walters was in cardiac arrest and ventricular fibrillation when firefighters arrived.

He was rushed to the hospital, where they noted he had a temperature of 102. Doctors worked to save him, but the medical examiner says the teen was pronounced dead at 5:05 p.m.

The report from medical examiners says Walters did not have any medical issues other than allergies.”

An email to Heavy in response to a request for more information, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kelly Devers provided a statement about the initial report stressing it is “extremely preliminary information that is provided to the Medical Examiner’s Office, by reporting entities that sometimes do not have access to the full or even accurate knowledge of the events which transpired on the scene.”

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Devers said, “In this particular case, some of the initial information contained in this form about the circumstances surrounding young Hezekiah’s collapse and response by others was reported to our office by an emergency room medical professional. Other information was supplied by law enforcement. The cause and manner of death are pending further study. To complete the full picture, our office will collect and review incident reports made by all of the agencies involved, including Hillsborough County Public Schools and first responders. Therefore, the information contained in the Initial Case Summary Report is subject to change. The final autopsy report may take five months or more to complete, depending on the complexity of our investigation, testing, and analyses.”

Walters Celebrated His 14th Birthday With Friends March 1

The Tampa Bay Times quoted a Hillsborough County Public Schools spokesperson as saying “coaches immediately called 911 after Walters collapsed.”

“We are devastated by the death of one of our students. This student was an amazing young man who was loved by his friends, teachers and staff at school. We were heartbroken to hear the news that he later passed away,” district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said in a statement, as reported. She said schools officials were “reviewing” the incident.

Wednesday afternoon, the Hillsborough Schools announced all “conditioning and athletic activities are ceased until the schools “direct every coach to review all safety procedures pertaining to athletic activities,” and that a school staff conduct a full review “of student records to ensure every student taking part in any athletic activity is cleared to participate.”

Walters’ death is under investigation and the Hillsborough County medical examiner will determine the manner and cause of death.

Walters had just graduated from the 8th grade at Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy in Tampa. His mother Phyllis Thompson Walters, the 2017 Hillsborough County Middle School Counselor of the Year, shared many posts on Facebook. Hezekiah receiving the Men of Vision Service of the Year Award.

His participation in a leadership conference.

And his promotion day. His favorite memory at the school was when, “I tripped over in the air, and fell up the stairs!”

“On the behalf of the Sickles Football family our condolences go out to the family of young Hezekiah Walters and the Middleton football team.”

Walters’ family told WFLA, “Our family is heartbroken with the loss of Hezekiah. We are still in shock and asking God to provide us peace.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family with funeral expenses.

“Hezekiah is survived by his mother, father, and sister and they need our help. Please consider helping the Walter’s family with funeral expenses in this difficult time as we come together to support those that have given so much to others.”

This story will be updated.

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