High School Cheerleader Dies After Collapsing During Football Game

(ABC News)

ABC News’ Olivia Katrandjian reports:

A high school cheerleader collapsed during a football game and died hours later at a hospital Friday night in Los Angeles.

Angela Gettis, a 16-year-old sophomore at South Los Angeles’ George Washington Preparatory High School, collapsed on the field at Fremont High School at about 9:10 p.m.

Bystanders performed CPR on the teenager while waiting for paramedics to arrive and Gettis was revived briefly on the sideline, according to Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman, the Associated Press reported.

Gettis was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead around midnight. Officials said she apparently suffered from sudden cardiac arrest, but her family said she had no known medical problems. An autopsy is scheduled.

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

“They had just tied the game up, and the cheerleaders were pumped up,” a witness, Cameron Bonner, told City News Service. She appeared “to just pass out,” he said. “All of her friends were in a circle crying.”

Washington High principal Todd Ullah said crisis counselors will be at the school Monday to help students cope with Gettis’ death.

“Washington High School, like every other high school, has its share of unfortunate incidents regarding youth – and uh, we, we uh, we prepare for that, but you can never really prepare,” Ullah said, according to ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

“It’s devastating, it’s tragic,” Ullah added.

Gettis was a good student and a leader on campus, according to Ullah. She was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps and had planned to major in forensic science in college.

“I just want people to remember the heart she had. She was very kind,” Angela Kirkindoff, Gettis’ aunt, told KABC-TV.

KABC-TV contributed to this report.

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