Student Athlete Dies Tangled In Exercise Machine

September 22nd, 2010 by Staff

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (CBS13) ―

Students at Bear River High School were stunned after learning one of their star players died early Monday morning.

Justin Butler, 16, was found by his parents in his home Sunday night after somehow becoming entangled in a Bowflex exercise machine. They called 911 and began performing CPR, and emergency crews rushed him by helicopter to a hospital.

Butler died Monday morning.

The death of the Bear River student athlete sent shock waves through the school. Friends described Butler as an avid football player who loved stepping on the field and making big plays, and filled his Facebook page with messages of love and grief.

“We definitely suffered a great loss here, both as a school and as a community,” said school athletic director Duwaine Ganskie. “When you saw him come off the field after scoring that touchdown last week, you just see the joy in his face.”

School administrators say they will have grief counselors on campus Tuesday to speak with staff and students.

Investigators do not believe the exercise equipment was responsible for the teen’s death.

Few details are available, but the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that “there is no information or evidence to suggest in any way the victim was trying to purposefully hurt himself or end his own life.”

Investigators concluded the death was “a very tragic accident.”

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