New Prairie High School student dies following intramural basketball game

Evelyn Holmes Image
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
HS student dies following basketball game
A high school student has died after he was found unresponsive following an intramural basketball game in northwest Indiana.

NEW CARLISLE, Ind. (WLS) -- Investigators are trying to determine what caused a high school student to collapse and die following an intramural basketball game in northwest Indiana.

Emergency crews responded to New Prairie High School Monday night after 17-year-old Mark Mayfield was found lying unresponsive in a hallway between the gym and a school water fountain.

"When the student was found by another student, they immediately notified the supervisor of the intramural basketball program. He came to the aid of the student and immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation," said Capt. Mike Kellems, La Porte County Sheriff's Office.

Kellems said Mayfield was rushed to La Porte Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said they do not suspect any foul play.

School officials said Mark's parents told them he had no known medical conditions and that a voluntary heart screening the teen had in September as a part of a local health program showed no apparent problems.

"This is the kind of day that as educators, as parents, you pray does not occur," said Dr. Paul White, superintendent of New Prairie United School Corporation.

"It's very difficult as a mother and an educator and for the kids that were there. It's very difficult," New Prairie High School Principal Jen Sass said.

The superintendent said that grief counselors and local ministers were on hand at the school throughout the day.

School officials said Tuesday night's boys' and girls' basketball games have been postponed as the community continues to grieve.

The Mayfield family said in a statement: The Mayfield Family is in great grief regarding Mark Mayfield's sudden passing. No words can explain the depth of love his family has for him. He was a great athlete, a good friend, a wonderful son, plus one of the biggest Cub fans in the world. He reveled in their World Series victory. The family is still waiting to hear more from the medical experts as to what exactly happened. Mark was in great physical health and had recently passed the heart screening set up for high school athletes. Mark's mother, father, four brothers, three sisters and his entire extended family send their appreciation to all the well-wishers. They would especially like to thank the LaPorte County first responders and administrators at New Prairie High School. The Mayfield's ask for your continued prayers and good thoughts during this very difficult time.

The coroner's office said an autopsy completed Tuesday found no known cause of death. Toxicology results are still pending.