Valedictorian candidate dies during beach cleanup volunteer project

LOS ANGELES -- A promising student who was a candidate to be valedictorian of her high school in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood died tragically while volunteering during a beach cleanup in Santa Monica.

ABC7 has learned 17-year-old Thuy Tran was overtaken by a wave while volunteering at Santa Monica Beach on Saturday.

Thuy may have been in the water for up to an hour before she was found. She was later rushed to the hospital and put on life support.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed Thuy died at the hospital Sunday and drowning was ruled as the cause of death.

Thuy was a senior track star at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School where she was a candidate to graduate at the top of her class.

A number of local track teams will wear maroon ribbons to honor Thuy during the track season this Spring.
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