WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Many people in the Wilmington community are grieving after the recent death of a sixth grade student at Roland Grise Middle School.
Alex Newsome, 11, was killed in a tragic accident Friday after he was hit by a line drive during baseball practice.
According to the school system, the student was the team manager and was pitching batting practice to the team at the time of the accident.
Teammates said Alex dropped to the ground after being hit, but got right back up. They said the team ran over to Alex to ask if he was okay. His teammates said he implied he was, but dropped to the ground again.
A call to 911 revealed Alex was unresponsive and not breathing, but CPR was performed on him until emergency crews arrived.
Alex was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
Dr. Rick Holliday, with the New Hanover County School system says they will begin an investigation Monday into what happened.
While sixth graders are not allowed to participate in interscholastic competition, Holliday says there is nothing in the rule book that specifically states whether a sixth grade team manager can or cannot participate in an athletic practice with a school team.
Middle school athletic competition is governed by the State Board of Education as opposed to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
Holliday will be meeting with Dave Spencer, the New Hanover County Schools Director of Safety on Monday to discuss the legal ramifications of what happened and begin the process of potential modification to the existing rules.
The New Hanover County School system released the following statement Saturday afternoon:
Alex Newsome, a sixth grade student at Roland-Grise Middle School, was hit by a line drive at baseball practice yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. He sustained an injury to the head and had to be taken by EMS to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. He was treated there and the hospital announced he died at approximately 9:20 p.m. last night.
New Hanover County Schools is greatly saddened by the loss of our student in this tragic incident. Staff, coaches, parents, the principal and superintendent of the district were all at the hospital after the accident to offer support to the family, classmates, teachers and friends of Alex. The district also had social workers available and will continue to offer grief counseling and support for any students and staff who may need it. The district's team of social workers and counselors will be available throughout the week.
This is an extremely difficult and sad time for all involved. The district is committed to doing everything possible to support the Newsome family and the entire Roland-Grise school community.
The UNCW baseball team stopped for a moment of silence before their game Saturday afternoon to honor Newsome.
The baseball community is gathering in support for the Newsome family.
"All we can do is show our support," said baseball volunteer Chuck Kuebler. "Because Alex was involved and this was his love and his passion it seemed."