13-year-old Alabama girl dies in tug-of-war game at school event

A 13-year-old Alabama girl died Thursday during a game of tug-of-war at her school’s end-of-the-year Field Day event, officials said.

St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell identified the Williams Intermediate sixth-grade student Friday as Maddison Wentworth, AL.com reported.

Pell City spokesman Sgt. Don Newton said the incident occurred at about midday Thursday. Maddison was participating in one of the events when she fell to the ground. Newton said school nurses immediately began administrating CPR as paramedics were on their way.

Newton said paramedics took over the CPR when they arrived and “continued the life-saving methods on the way to the hospital but, at some point, she was pronounced dead. The teen was officially pronounced dead at 12:34 p.m.

Authorities have not disclosed whether Maddison had a pre-existing medical condition. They said an autopsy is scheduled but it will take at least one week to release the findings, AL.com reported.

“We have suffered a great loss at Williams Intermediate School. Field day is supposed to be one of the best days of the year,” Pell City Schools Superintendent Michael Barber said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, and with the faculty and students who knew her and loved her every day. And I would ask everyone to keep this family and the system in their prayers as well.”

A GoFundMe account has been established to “help with the financial side of this horrific time” in the lives of the girl’s family. As of early Saturday, more than $2,500 has been raised to help the family.

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