Police: Middle schooler dies after passing out on bus due to medical condition

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — An 11-year-old student at a Gaston County middle school died after he lost consciousness on a school bus, school officials said Thursday. Police later said they think it was caused by a medical condition.

In a message sent to parents, the principal of Holbrook Middle School said the student passed out on a school bus Thursday morning and was not responsive. EMS confirmed it happened while the bus was on school grounds.

The student was taken to the hospital where he later died, the principal confirmed.

“This is devastating news for our school family, and we are heartbroken,” the message reads.

Gaston County police noted the student likely “suffered from a previously unknown medical condition.” No charges are expected to be filed in the case, they said.

Police said Narcan was given to the teenager as part of a normal response when someone is unconscious. They said it’s used in case the person was exposed to narcotics. Police said the Narcan had no effect on the student, which indicates he didn’t overdose.

“Please keep the student’s family, friends, and classmates in your thoughts and prayers,” the principal said. “I know that all of us will come together to support our school family as we mourn the loss of one of our very own.”

‘Nicest guy in the world’

His friends said the 11-year-old was “the nicest guy in the world” and was well-liked by everyone. The school district isn’t identifying him.

“The whole school was freaking out. The whole school was crying. It was chaotic today,” student Elijah Christenbury told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon.

Izac Isenhour was nearby when paramedics arrived.

“I seen them carry him out,” he said.

At first, he didn’t realize that student was a friend. Isenhour said he saw them lay the unconscious teen on the ground.

“He woke up, and when he went to get up, he had collapsed again,” he said.

That’s when things became dire and the student was taken to the hospital.

“When we found out it was him, everybody started crying,” Isenhour said.

Grief counselors arrived to the middle school to help classmates and friends who knew the student as a wrestler and a kind person.

“A lot of them were crying and in shock and everything,” Christenbury said.

“I couldn’t believe it. He was just an amazing kid,” he added.

Isenhour said the 11-year-old was his dear friend. He tried to encourage other students to forget what they saw on Thursday.

“Don’t remember the bad things,” he said. “Remember the good things, and remember he would always want you to keep moving. Go for your dreams.”

Editor’s note: Officials initially said the boy was 13 years old. However, Channel 9 confirmed with the boy’s father that he was 11 years old.

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