Park Ridge girl, 7, dies after cheer camp at Maine South

BySun-Times Media Wire
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Kate Babich.
Kate Babich.

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- A 7-year-old girl died Monday afternoon after attending a cheer camp at Maine South High School in north suburban Park Ridge.

Katherine Babich became ill unexpectedly and fainted Monday morning at the Summer Cheer Camp at Maine South High School at 1111 S. Dee Rd., and was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to a statement from Maine Township High School District 207.

She died at Lutheran General at 12:59 p.m. Monday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.

Katherine, who went by Kate and lived in Park Ridge, was a second-grader at Field Elementary School in Park Ridge-Niles School District 64, according to the school district's statement.

"Maine South High School and Maine Township High School District 207 extend our deepest sorrow and condolences to the Babich family and friends," the statement said.

The remainder of the cheer camp, which was scheduled to run through Friday, has been canceled. Maine South has made crisis counselors available for parents and children who had been attending the camp, and District 64 has made counselors available for parents, staff and students at Field Elementary.

"All of us at District 64 are saddened by the loss of one of our students, and extend our deepest sympathies to her family," Supt. Laurie Heinz said in a statement posted on the school district's website.

"Kate is known as an inspired leader, a leader and a good friend to everyone in her class," Heinz said. "I know her classmates and Field staff will miss her dearly."

Autopsy results are pending, but it is suspected Babich may have had an underlying health issue.

WLS-TV contributed to this report.