082119_CND_StudentDies

An Elite Scholars Academy student died Tuesday evening after reportedly collapsing in the school's parking lot.

JONESBORO — An autopsy is being conducted today, Aug. 15, on a student from Elite Scholars Academy who died Tuesday evening, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles. 

Miles said the autopsy can take several weeks to complete.

Imani Bell, 16, was reportedly exercising in the back right field at the school when she collapsed. It's unknown why she was exercising outside when, according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, the temperature reached 99 degrees at 3:21 p.m. Tuesday.

Clayton County school officials said they are working "diligently to determine more details relative to this matter.”

“We are very saddened by the loss of one of our students," said Superintendent Morcease Beasley. "The school district is here to support the family of the student and all school staff and student body.”

Grief counselors have been made available to support the family as needed and a crisis team has been assigned at the school to provide support to students and any family members of staff or adults in the coming days.

Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services Battalion Chief Laura Richardson said CCFES personnel responded to a cardiac arrest call at 5:52 p.m. for a 16-year-old female inside the school. EMS arrived within four minutes after the call was made.

Richardson said the female was being helped into the building when crews arrived.  

"Our firefighters found her unresponsive, but still breathing, and began treatment," she said. "During transport to (Southern Regional Medical Center) the patient became pulseless and stopped breathing."

Firefighters began CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. 

"The patient did regain a pulse during transport, but unfortunately she did pass away," Richardson said. "We are so sorry for her family's loss and the pain each one of her classmates are feeling."

According to MaxPreps.com, Bell, a junior, was a member of the 2019-2020 girls varsity basketball team at Elite Scholars Academy. She also participated in shot put and discus, according to athletic.net.

Education reporter Heather Middleton joined the Clayton News and Henry Herald in 2002.

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