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Middle school football player dies from ant bites after practice

Cameron Espinosa, 13, died after developing an intense allergic reaction to ants that bit him during football practice at Haas Middle School in Corpus Christi, Texas.
By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   Sept. 18, 2013 at 1:25 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A 13 year old boy from Corpus Christi,Texas died after being attacked by ants during football practice, the school announced Monday.

Cameron Espinosa had a severe allergic reaction during a halftime huddle last Wednesday night.

"He was standing there on the sidelines and just started yelling 'Ants! Ants!'" Lorette Williams, director of communications for the school district, told the NY Daily News.

Espinosa lost consciousness twice before he was rushed to a nearby hospital after his allergies kicked in. The boy was in critical condition for the following days.

On Monday, Haas Middle School in Corpus Christi announced Espinosa had died and held a moment of silence in his honor.

"The District will do all we can in support of the student's family and the entire Haas school community during this sad time," the Corpus Christi Independent School District said in a statement.

Principal Lynda Ann De Leon said the coach tried to help Espinosa by telling him to spray himself off with a bottle of water.

"So that's what he was doing. But then, as coach kept talking and trying to lead the team, that's when he started with the grimacing and like yelling out in pain. It was obvious he was in pain," De Leon said.

Driscoll Children's Hospital was unable to provide further information about Espinosa's death.

After the incident, school board member Hector Salina told CBS-affiliate KZTV he was outraged to find the football field has over 20 ant piles in the school's football field.

"If in fact the coaches there knew that there was a problem with ants before… Then you know what? It should have been taken care of," he told local station KRIS-TV.


Espinosa's parents have hired a lawyer to look into what types of policies and procedures are in place at the school regarding emergency response, how the football fields are maintained and the type of pest control contracts that they have.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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