A Santa Rita High School freshman died Friday morning after suffering medical complications during a fire drill.
Mercedes Figueroa was participating in the school's regular monthly fire drill just before 8:30 a.m. when she began having complications on the football field and needed medical assistance, said TUSD Assistant Superintendent Abel Morado.
School staff rendered assistance and called 911, Morado said. Figueroa was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where she later died.
Santa Rita’s principal rode with Figueroa in the ambulance to the hospital.
The student appeared to have a pre-existing medical condition that may have contributed to her death, Morado said.
The incident, which occurred toward the end of a 10-minute drill, did not appear to be heat-related.
Crisis counselors were on hand at the east side school Friday for students. Parents were also notified Friday through a letter, Morado said.
Morado called the incident a “tragedy.”
TUSD spokeswoman Cara Rene said the district sends its condolences to the family.