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Student collapses, dies on soccer field

Sixteen-year-old Lucero Garcia (on right) collapsed and died during soccer practice at Rubidoux High School.

January 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Rubidoux community is mourning the loss of a popular soccer player who died after collapsing at practice.An autopsy is being performed on the player, Lucero Garcia, to find the cause of death.

Coach Allen Umbarger says he took Garcia aside to compliment her on Tuesday's game against Citrus Hill High School. A short time later, Garcia collapsed on the soccer field.

Umbarger said he called her "my loose arrow" a play on her name, Lucero.

He says she scored the first goal of the season for the team.

Umbarger said she was the ultimate team player and was a joy to coach.

Garcia was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital but never recovered and was pronounced dead later Wednesday evening.

According to the coach, Garcia did not complain of dizziness or anything else during practice.

Umbarger said she asked a teammate, "Is it me or is it getting hot?" Then she collapsed.

Umbarger said he and paramedics did everything possible to save her.

Teachers at Rubidoux High School say Garcia was a good student, who worked hard in class.

A crisis team was brought to the campus Thursday for teachers and students who needed help with the unexpected death.

Students and the community are coming together to support the team and the family.

They plan a couple of fundraisers this weekend to help cover the cost of a funeral.

Carwash Fundraiser information:
Saturday, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Firestone Autocare
8360 Limonite Avenue
Riverside, CA

Sunday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Guerrero's Tire & Auto Shop
4161 Riverview Drive
Riverside, CA

Anyone interested in making further donations is asked to contact Rubidoux High School.