Millington (Tenn.) High School sophomore football player Dana Payne, 15, died en route to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon after being tackled during his team’s practice.
Payne, 5’11″ and 143 pounds, played wide receiver and defensive back. He was hit after catching a pass.
Family friend Frank Sharp, who frequently drove Payne to practice, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal: “I heard the lick but I didn’t see it. He got up but then he stopped breathing. They did CPR there on the field and they got him back … but they lost him about two minutes before they got to the hospital.”
The official police report said that after he was tackled by a single player — “in the middle of his body or (a) mid body collision” — Payne stayed on his knees, clutched his left arm to his side and appeared to have trouble breathing.
According to the report, his coach said that Payne had not reported any difficulties before or during practice. It also said that Payne had asthma and was taking medication.