A New York high school junior died yesterday after colliding with an opponent during a football game and collapsing. Tom Cutinella, a member of the Shoreham-Wading River High School varsity team, sustained a head injury and collapsed around 6pm; he was taken by ambulance from the field to the hospital, where he underwent surgery but was pronounced dead last night, Newsday reports. Around 60 friends, family members, and teammates had waited hours in the hospital for news, and some of them fell to the floor sobbing when they heard he'd died.
"It was a big hit," said the head football coach of Cutinella's injury. Adds a member of the school board, "Obviously, we're expecting to get a full report, find out exactly what happened and do an audit of our equipment and, if there is some way to ensure safer play, then, obviously we're going to have to make some adjustments." Cutinella is the third high school football player to die recently, ESPN adds: An Alabama cornerback died Sunday after being tackled and collapsing on the field Friday, and a North Carolina linebacker died after collapsing during pre-game warm-ups Friday. (Read more high school football stories.)