Valedictorian candidate dies during beach cleanup in Santa Monica

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A promising student who was a candidate to be valedictorian of her high school in Boyle Heights died tragically while volunteering during a beach cleanup in Santa Monica.

ABC7 has learned 17-year-old Thuy Tran was overtaken by a wave while volunteering at Santa Monica Beach on Saturday.

Thuy may have been in the water for up to an hour before she was found. She was later rushed to the hospital and put on life support.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed Thuy died at the hospital Sunday and drowning was ruled as the cause of death.

Thuy was a senior track star at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School where she was a candidate to graduate at the top of her class.

A number of local track teams will wear maroon ribbons to honor Thuy during the track season this spring.

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Michelle King said the district is deeply saddened by Thuy's accidental drowning.

"Our hearts go out to the relatives and friends of this exceptional young woman, and to the entire school community," King said in a statement.

Crisis counselors and school counselors will be available for students and staff grieving the loss, King said.
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