Autopsy results are pending on Midshipman who collapsed Naval Academy spokesman says Mid's health was good

December 07, 1998|By Neal Thompson | Neal Thompson,SUN STAFF

Officials at the Naval Academy were awaiting autopsy results yesterday and looking into the circumstances of the death of a student during an early-morning weekend game of touch football.

Steven L. Douglas and a group of classmates had been playing on a lighted AstroTurf field at the academy at 12: 45 a.m. Saturday when Douglas collapsed. Paramedics were unable to revive him.

"The way I understand it, he was playing approximately 10 minutes when he came back to the huddle and collapsed," said Cmdr. Mike Brady, academy spokesman.

"People are in a state of shock here trying to figure out how something like this could happen. This guy was in superb health."

An autopsy was to have been performed yesterday in Baltimore by the state medical examiner's office, but the results weren't expected for a few days, Brady said.

Douglas, 20, a freshman, was from Tulare, Calif., south of Fresno, where he lived with his mother. Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

The midnight football game capped a week of festivities preceding the Army-Navy football game, which was played Saturday. For freshmen, Army-Navy week is a landmark -- the first time since they arrived in Annapolis in July that some of the rules of deference to upperclassmen are relaxed.

"The entire Naval Academy is deeply saddened by this tragic loss," the academy superintendent, Vice. Adm. John R. Ryan, said in a statement. "Midshipman Douglas was a superb young XTC man, and the kind of individual you'd want your son to be."

Pub Date: 12/07/98

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