12-year-old Lake Elsinore student dies after collapsing during PE class

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Thursday, August 31, 2023
12-year-old Lake Elsinore boy dies after collapsing during PE class
A 12-year-old boy in Lake Elsinore died after a PE class, and parents at the school believe his death may have been heat related.

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KABC) -- A 12-year-old boy in Lake Elsinore died after a PE class, and parents at the school believe his death may have been heat related.

According to a GoFundMe set up for his family, Yahshua Robinson, a student at Canyon Lake Middle School, collapsed on Tuesday and became unresponsive. It said his death "was brought about by the sweltering heat."

"Despite the response and care of medical professionals, Yahshua tragically succumbed to cardiac arrest at the hospital," read the GoFundMe's description.

Wednesday was the last day of a heat wave that started earlier in the week that brought triple-digit temperatures to the Inland Empire.

"We are still in shock and disbelief over Yahshua's death," read a statement issued on behalf of Yahshua's family. "He was a bright, talented, and loving child who had a bright future ahead of him. We are struggling to understand why this happened."

On Thursday, Eyewitness News spoke with someone who used to work at the school. They said the school's standard procedure during hot weather is to move everything inside once the temperature reaches above 95 degrees.

In regards to PE classes, the former employee said that still means lining up on the blacktop to take roll, do some stretching and some jumping jacks before moving into the gym.

Several people told ABC7 that Yahshua was running laps outside and was reportedly begging for water when he collapsed.

"They watched this young man, and yelled at him and told him to get up, that he was messing around," said Katie Tinnin of Lake Elsinore. "These young kids realized he was actually in desperate need, came up and poured water on him."

A letter sent to families from the district confirmed Yahshua "showed signs of physical distress" but it did not disclose further details.

"... our teaching staff took prompt action to address the student and called emergency services who were on campus within minutes. I provide this information to emphasize to our students and families that if ever a student were to demonstrate need for attention, we will respond promptly to their needs and we will contact the family."

The district has also increased its support services for students including one-on-one and groups sessions with mental health experts.

The incident remains under investigation.