17-Year-Old Student Collapses and Dies During Homecoming Festivities

Breanne McKean, 17, collapsed shortly after her introduction as a homecoming queen candidate.
17-Year-Old Student Collapses and Dies During Homecoming Festivities
File photo of an ambulance vehicle in Texas. (Francois Picard/AFP via Getty Images)
Aldgra Fredly

A 17-year-old high school student in Ohio tragically died after collapsing on a football field while being introduced as a homecoming queen contender at her school on Friday.

The Mapleton Local Schools said that Breanne McKean, a senior student at Mapleton High School in Ashland, died due to a "medical emergency" that occurred prior to Mapleton's football game against South Central.

Tim McKean, the school's athletic director, told News 5 Cleveland that his daughter collapsed shortly after her introduction as a homecoming queen candidate. She was taken to Ashland Hospital, where she subsequently passed away.

He said that her daughter touched many lives and "was everything to us," adding that she excelled in multiple sports, including volleyball, basketball, and softball.

The football game was suspended at halftime when the teams and student body were notified of Ms. McKean's death. Grief counselors were immediately available to provide support to student, the school said.

"Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the McKean family, friends, and the Mapleton community," the school stated on Facebook. "Additional information will be announced as it becomes available."

"A special thank you goes out to the South Central community, administration, coaches, players, and fans for their compassion and support last night," it added.

The school also canceled its homecoming dance scheduled for Saturday and all athletic events through Wednesday.

The cause of Ms. McKean's death remains unknown. Ashland County Coroner's Office investigator Jenny Taylor said that her body had been transferred to Lucas County for an autopsy, according to reports.

Her death bore some similarities to the case of an 18-year-old student named Hunter Palmer who died and collapsed during track practice at a high school in Nebraska in May.

Mr. Palmer was a senior student at Wisner-Pilger High School. He was rushed to a nearby hospital after his collapse, but died shortly after. Information regarding the cause of his death remains unknown.

The multitalented student also played basketball and was an all-district running back in football. He had signed with Midland University for football, and was active in wrestling, golf, and baseball.

A day before his death, Mr. Palmer competed at a meet and cleared his personal best in the high jump, winning the event. He also participated in a relay race, with his team coming in second.

Meanwhile, in August, 12-year-old Yahshua Robinson died from cardiac arrest after collapsing during a physical education class at Canyon Lake Middle School. It is believed that his death was caused by the scorching heatwave in Southern California, KTLA5 reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.