Bruin football player dead at 16 |

Bruin football player dead at 16

A 16-year-old Bear River High School junior was pronounced dead early Monday morning after emergency rescue personnel were not able to resuscitate him following an apparent home accident, a school official confirmed this afternoon.

Bear River Athletic Director Duwaine Ganskie confirmed the student to be Justin Butler, 16, a varsity wide receiver who had scored the Bruin’s only touchdown in a loss Friday night at Woodcreek High School.

Butler was transported Sunday evening from the Lake of the Pines community to Sutter Roseville Medical Center and then to UC Davis Medical Center by helicopter, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. Hospital representatives confirmed Butler had been at both Sutter Roseville and UC Davis, but could not provide more information.

“Once the medics were notified, the football coaches were also immediately notified” Sunday night, Ganskie said.

“The team met last night at one of the players’ homes, while attempts were being made to resuscitate him,” Ganskie added. “Between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m., there was hope that he would make it, but around 1 a.m. was when he officially passed.”

Law enforcement and the county coroner have yet to determine the circumstances of Butler’s death, and an investigation is ongoing.

“Obviously, it’s pretty solemn around here,” Ganskie said. “Everybody is trying to get their heads around it. We have counselors available and chaplains available and there are kids meeting with them.”

Bear River’s football staff is meeting with team members this afternoon, at which time a potential postponement of Friday night’s game at River Valley will likely be discussed, Ganskie said.

“In terms of the team and school, there hasn’t been discussion yet on canceling anything or postponing anything,” Ganskie said.


To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail or call (530) 477-4240.

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