Child dies in elementary gym class ‘freak accident'

A fourth-grade student died Monday after she became unresponsive during a physical education class at her school.

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The child died after a game of basketball in the class at Hall Halsell Elementary School, in Vinita, Oklahoma.

Vinita Public Schools superintendent Kelly Grimmett said the child played for about five minutes before the student sat to rest with her classmates.


Grimmett said when it was time for her to play again, she began "having issues." The instructor called 911 and the front office.

At the time of the call, the student was breathing, but she later became unresponsive when the principal arrived.

The principal performed CPR until medics arrived, rushing the student to a hospital. They hoped to fly the student to Tulsa for more intensive care, but she died at the hospital.

Grimmett said the child was in good health with no known issues. She called the situation a freak accident.

The Cherokee Nation Crisis Team came to the school Tuesday to help school and outside counselors as students and staff process what happened.

The district has no answers yet on why the child died. No information on services has been released.

The school's parent-teacher organization decided to direct some proceeds from its Books for Bingo event to support the child's family.

Vinita Public Schools shared this message from the organization:

"Our community once again is hurting tonight! But, our community is also strong and we pull together no matter the need! Our event tomorrow night will go on as planned but we will be donating part of our proceeds back to the little girl’s family as a way to help and support them during this time of need! Millie walked the halls at Hall Halsell for four years just as our tiny Hornets do today and her sweet smile will be remembered tomorrow night in a big way! Please share and live generously."