Coroner: High school player died of heart failure

By The Associated Press

OCEAN SPRINGS — A Mississippi high school football player who died after collapsing on the field during a game suffered what the Jackson County coroner said was a form of heart failure.

Coroner Vicki Broadus said Saturday that Latrell Dunbar of D’Iberville High School suffered what was listed as “an acute cardiac event.”

What triggered it was not known. Broadus said in a telephone interview that there was no sign of an injury on the field that led to his death. And there is no indication of an underlying health problem that might have brought on the heart failure.

Dunbar, a junior running back, was pronounced dead at an Ocean Springs hospital Friday night after collapsing during a football game at Gautier High School.

Singleton said paramedics and physicians “did everything possible.”

“I’ve been in this a long time and I have always feared something like this would happen,” said the 70-year-old coach. “He was a great kid.”

Play was stopped while Dunbar was taken off the field. Singleton said the players voted to continue with the game, which D’Iberville went on to win, 17-14.

Afterward, the players were told their teammate had died.

“I’ve been coaching a long, long time and it is, by far, the worst moment I’ve ever had,” Singleton told The Sun Herald. “The game really didn’t mean anything.”

Singleton said Dunbar was a “good kid” who made good grades. “He showed me his report card yesterday. He had 3 A’s and a C,” he said. “He was a good student, good athlete. Everybody liked him. He always had a smile on his face. An all-American kid.”

Singleton said video shows Dunbar taking a hit as he blocked before he collapsed, but Broadus said there was no sign of an injury and no indication the hit contributed to the death.