UH students in disbelief over sudden death of a man at the campus rec center

Updated: Apr. 7, 2019 at 10:49 AM HST
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MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - University of Hawaii officials confirmed the death of a student on campus Saturday.

A university spokesperson said the student died at the UH Warrior Recreation Center after suffering an undisclosed “medical emergency” around 11 a.m.

The 18-year-old male reportedly collapsed while working out, EMS said.

One witness at the gym recalled the frightening moment the student passed out.

UH student Trevor Virga said the man got up from using a leg machine when he then fell face down onto the floor.

“Then at that moment, I’m like ‘oh my god,’” Virga said. “I go over there and I (tried to) wake him up, and he’s just out.”

Virga then rushed to notify rec center staff who hurried to the man’s aid.

“They decide to call EMS, then EMS comes and at that point, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh this is serious,’" Virga added.

Following the incident, the rec center closed its doors as emergency crews responded. The center remained closed for the remainder of Saturday. It is unclear when it will reopen.

The student has not yet been publicly identified, but he is believed to be a freshman at the university.

In a statement, the university said:

“This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the student’s family and friends. Counselors were on scene shortly afterwards to offer help and assistance to those who were there when it happened. Counselors will be reaching out to those who knew the student but help is available to anyone who needs it at the Counseling and Student Development Center. We encourage all members of our community to take advantage of the resources available.”

The sudden death left other college students in disbelief.

“It’s so sad, it hurts my heart. I’m like still a little bit in shock. I can’t believe that happened. I had a feeling something was odd when it said until further notice,” student Malia said while referencing the closed sign posted on the center’s doors.

The campus rec center serves as a hub for students and faculty in the center of campus, offering workout programs and equipment for use by the UH community.

The university encourages anyone impacted to utilize counseling resources and services available.

This story will be updated.

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