A forensic pathologist's report has found that a Western Kentucky high school football player died of complications from a pre-existing heart condition with heat likely a "significant contributing factor."
Sixteen-year-old Ryan Owens collapsed following a morning practice at Henderson County High on July 19, 2006. He died shortly thereafter at Methodist Hospital in Henderson.
The Gleaner of Henderson reports that Owens suffered from a heart condition called myxoid degeneration of the mitral valve.
Henderson County Coroner Bobbie Cantley announced at a news conference yesterday that the report also said findings were "suggestive of heat-related illness."
Owens had been on the field for about 80 minutes when practice broke around 9:20 a.m.
School officials said players were wearing helmets and shoulder pads during the practice. According to the National Weather Service in Paducah, the temperature in Henderson at 9 a.m. on July 19, 2006, was 82 degrees with 79 percent humidity, making it feel like 88 degrees.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.