Former Westminster athlete dead after ball strikes neck

Sabo, 19, hurt in practice, fell into coma days later

College Lacrosse

October 01, 2004|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

A former football player at Westminster High died a week ago of complications from a traumatic neck injury suffered while practicing with his college lacrosse team, published reports said.

Michael Christopher Sabo, 19, of Westminster, was struck in the neck by a lacrosse ball during fall practice Sept. 18 at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., according to the Wednesday edition of the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Times-Leader.

The paper cited a Dauphin (Pa.) County coroner's report that said the impact ruptured the wall of Sabo's right carotid artery, leading to a blood clot that later traveled into Sabo's brain, causing a stroke.

The sophomore was taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where he was evaluated and released, the paper said. A day later, according to his high school football coach Scott Tobias, Sabo collapsed in a King's College dining hall and was taken back to Wilkes-Barre General. From there, Tobias said, he was flown to Hershey Medical Center.

On Sept. 22, four days after the injury, Sabo fell into a coma. Two days later, on Sept. 24, he was declared dead, the paper said.

"He was a fantastic young man," said Tobias, now an assistant at Westminster but the head coach during Sabo's three years with the program, 2000-2002.

Sabo's funeral was held Wednesday in Westminster.

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