A 19-year-old freshman at Wheaton (Ill.) College was pronounced dead on Saturday after being accidentally struck in the head by a hammer during a track and field event.
The victim was identified as Ethan Roser, who had been volunteering at a track and field event when the accident occurred. During the event, he was struck by a piece of equipment known as a hammer, a metal ball attached to steel wire that athletes throw into the field, usually after making several spins for momentum.
According to a Wheaton College statement, paramedics were on the scene immediately, and Roser was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
It’s not clear whether Roser was volunteering at the hammer throw or at an event nearby.
“We ask that people pray for Ethan’s family, his friends and our campus community,” Wheaton College president Philip Ryken said in a statement.
It’s not the first time a track and field event turned deadly. There have been some changes to both equipment and event planning in an effort to improve safety, but it’s impossible to eliminate risk altogether.
According to CNN, the campus held a vigil for Roser on Saturday.