March 17, 2009

Chapman soccer player Bryce Turner collapses and dies

ORANGE, Calif. - On a field where victories and defeats are daily occurances, Chapman University and the Panthers' athletics program suffered its worst loss on Monday night. Sophomore men's soccer player Bryce Turner, 19,  collapsed after a pickup soccer game on campus and passed away soon after.

Because the game was a pickup event and occurred during the field's "open recreation" period, no professional coaches were present. Student trainers were on hand, and Chapman Public Safety was in the vicinity and arrived almost immediately.  Paramedics arrived within two minutes, and Turner was still breathing and had vital signs at that time.  Turner was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange, where doctors worked on him but were unable to revive him.  He died at St. Joseph's at 10:01 p.m. Cause of death has not yet been determined.

"This is a terrible tragedy - Chapman is a small enough place that we all feel like we're a family here, and we have lost one of our own.  Our hearts go out to Bryce's family and friends," said Chapman's vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, Jerry Price. 

Turner, a business administration major from Louisville, Ky., who was minoring in English, was a member of the Chapman men's soccer team and of Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) fraternity.  He was a 2007 graduate of Trinity High School in Louisville, Ky.

"I've asked that our flags fly half mast this week on campus in honor of Bryce Turner," said Chapman President Jim Doti in a campus-wide phone message.  "By all accounts I'm hearing, he was an incredible person and a credit to our university.  I ask that our community members take time to provide solace to each other, and especially to those who lost a special friend last night."

Turner appeared in all 18 games for Chapman during the 2008 season, including four starts as a midfielder/defender. He scored one goal and added one assist for the Panthers who were 12-4-2 overall.

Chapman has set up a room in Argyros Forum where counselors will be available from noon to 9 p.m. tonight to speak with students who need to talk about the loss. Also, a candlelight vigil for Bryce will be held at 8 p.m. tonight on the university's Attallah Piazza.

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