Sixth Grader Collapses & Dies After Field Day Tug-of-War Event

girl dies following tug of war field dayAs the end of the school year rapidly approaches, many elementary school students eagerly await their annual field day events. But for one school in Alabama, the friendly competition turned tragic. A sixth-grader collapsed and died following a game of tug-of-war, and one mom thinks it may have been preventable.


Thirteen-year-old Maddison Wentworth, who attended Williams Intermediate School in Pell City, suddenly collapsed during the activity, and attempts to resuscitate her sadly weren't enough to save her life.

A classmate on the opposing team told her mother that the girl had complained of a headache and dizziness prior to collapsing, according to CNN affiliate WIAT.

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While the school maintains that water stations were available to students, Amanda Garrett, mother of Wentworth's classmate, believes dehydration may have been a factor. She told WIAT what her daughter relayed to her:

She told me that they were only allowed to get water if they went to go to the restroom, otherwise they had to buy the water. She said it was like a dollar or a $1.50 a bottle, and I don't feel like that was fair to the children. Now, if they wanted to charge for Gatorade I could understand that, but the water should have been ... the teacher should have been making them drink the water because adults all know how important it is to stay hydrated out in the sun.

An autopsy is scheduled, but authorities said they don't believe the teen had any preexisting conditions.

Your heart breaks for this family who sent their daughter off to school, never imagining that the unthinkable could happen to her.

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With temperatures rising and kids competing in all sorts of sporting events, it's a good time to remind them to stay hydrated and not be afraid to tell an adult if they're not feeling well or need to take a break.

Counselors were provided to school students as the community grieves this loss.


Image via Kent Weakley/Shutterstock

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