A 17-year-old Ohio high school senior has died suddenly during homecoming festivities.
Mapleton High School senior Breanne McKean passed away unexpectedly “after collapsing during homecoming festivities at Mapleton High School where she was part of the homecoming court,” her obituary states.
Local media outlet Ashland Source reports McKean “died after collapsing on the football field during festivities before the game between the [Mapleton] Mounties and South Central [Trojans].”
According to USA Today, the teen was pronounced dead on the field after quickly succumbing to a “medical emergency.”
Mapleton Local School District Superintendent Scott Smith said in a release:
“It is with a heavy heart that the Mapleton Local School District announces the passing of Bre McKean… due to a medical emergency.”
“Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the McKean family, friends, and the Mapleton community.”
Officials stopped the game during halftime after announcing McKean had suffered a “medical emergency.”
According to NBC News, McKean’s sudden death occurred “shortly after she was announced as a contender for homecoming queen.”
Breanne McKean collapsed shortly after she was announced as a contender for homecoming queen on Friday, according to the school district. https://t.co/PS9qlG4ZZB
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 4, 2023
A subsequent dance the following night and all athletic events were canceled through Wednesday, the school’s superintendent confirmed.
Mapleton football coach Matt Stafford described learning of McKean’s emergency and opting to inform the team.
“I got together with the referee and decided we were going to tell the kids, we were going to suspend the game because there is no way they can play,” Stafford said.
“We figured we better tell them right away because, with phones and everything, someone is going to find out.”
A statement from the Ashland County Coroner’s Office said it could take up to 12 weeks to conduct toxicology tests and determine a cause of death.
Her death has resulted in an outpouring of support from her community, with local businesses and Ashland County creating memorial fundraisers to aid her family during the trying time.
The young girl’s cause of death remains unknown.