LBSU track and field athlete dies in single-car crash

Most of our posts deal with issues surrounding Sudden Cardiac Arrest and screening.  However, providing awareness about all aspects of SCA is our full mission and as such this story becomes relevant.  Sadly, our statistical information about SCA is incorrect – many times due to stories like this one – where an otherwise healthy and active 21 year old dies in an unexplained car crash.  Unfortunately, our coroners often don’t have the time or the means to properly classify every fatality.  I’m not sure if an autopsy will be performed, or made public,  and maybe it is as simple as this young man falling asleep – but could this be another case of SCA tragically taking a life prematurely?

By Amir Vafamanesh
Sports Editor

Published: Friday, May 6, 2011
Courtesy of Long Beach State athletics
Long Beach State track and field athlete Cameron Gillett, center, died in a car accident Friday morning.
Long Beach State track and field athlete Cameron Gillett, 21, died Friday morning after his gray 1998 Nissan Altima struck a concrete bridge abutment on a northbound 605 Freeway offramp in Long Beach.
According to California Highway Patrol reports, the crash happened about 2:15 a.m. at the East Carson Street offramp when, “For reasons unknown, Gillett allowed his vehicle to drift off the road down a dirt/grass embankment before it went airborne and crashed into the bridge.” Gillett died at the scene and was pronounced dead at 2:51 a.m.
The CHP also reported that drugs and/or alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the collision and the investigation is ongoing.
According to news reports, Gillett fell asleep behind the steering wheel.   The Long Beach State athletic department said Gillett had been on his way home from campus when the incident occurred.  “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Cameron,” LBSU athletic director Vic Cegles said in a release. “He was an outstanding young man who was admired by his teammates and fellow student-athletes. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.”


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