Teen Drowns While Volunteering at Beach Cleanup
She was a valedictorian candidate and track star
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2016 6:15 PM CDT
Updated Apr 1, 2016 12:03 AM CDT
Thuy Tran, 17, drowned during a beach cleanup event Saturday in California.   (Instagram)

(Newser) – A 17-year-old track star and valedictorian candidate drowned while volunteering at a beach cleanup in Southern California, My News LA reports. Thuy Tran, a student at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles, was swept away by a wave at Santa Monica Beach on Saturday and wasn't found for an hour. According to KTLA, she was in the water with a number of other young people at the time, possibly swimming in an inshore hole, which is a trench in the sand close to shore. Lifeguards helping other people out of the water weren't aware initially that there was a person missing and possibly submerged; when they discovered this and Thuy was finally found, she was rushed to the hospital and put on life support, KABC reports. She died Sunday, the coroner's office confirmed Thursday.

"Our hearts go out to the relatives and friends of this exceptional young woman," school district superintendent Michelle King said in a statement. Thuy had just opened up the electronic letter accepting her to Stanford last week, and the school's dean of admissions has since sent her family the official acceptance note, along with a condolence letter, her original application, and what would have been her admissions info, a school spokeswoman tells the Los Angeles Times. "Even in her short association with us as an applicant and newly admitted student to Stanford's Class of 2020, we knew she was absolutely the right person to be a part of the incoming class," the letter read. Local track teams plan to wear ribbons in Thuy's honor during the upcoming season. (Two BASE jumpers survived their leap into the Pacific—but were then swept away by the waves.)
 

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