Student killed by hammer at Wheaton College track meet

Track and field athletes gather on the McCully Stadium field at Wheaton College to pray for a volunteer who was struck while working the hammer throw. The accident occurred Saturday during the Don Church Twilight Meet. | Provided photo

A student volunteer at a Wheaton College track and field meet was fatally injured Saturday afternoon during the hammer throw event.

About 4:15 p.m., Ethan Roser, a 19-year-old freshman transfer student from Loveland, Ohio, was accidentally struck by a hammer during the event, according to a statement from Wheaton College.

The Wheaton Police and Fire departments responded to an emergency call of a man “in cardiac arrest after being struck by a track and field hammer” at Lawson Field at 517 E. Forest, a statement Wheaton police aid.

Officers arrived as citizens were providing medical assistance to Roser, who was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he was later pronounced dead, officials said.

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Police are investigating the incident, but said, “During the pre-event warm-ups, he was standing off the field of play when he was struck in the head by an errantly tossed 16-lb. hammer. The investigation will continue in an effort to provide a clearer picture of the events that led to Roser’s death.”

Any member of the public with information should call Lt. Robert Miller at (630) 260-2073.

“We are deeply grieved, but, because of our faith in Christ, not without hope,” Wheaton College President Philip Ryken said in the statement. “We ask people to pray for Ethan’s family, his friends, and our campus community.”

The incident occurred during the Don Church Twilight Meet, in which the men’s and women’s teams compete. Athletes from the competing schools joined Wheaton athletes on the field at McCully Stadium to pray after incident, one spectator said.

People console each other at Wheaton College after a tragic accident at a track meet on Saturday. | Screenshot from NVP video

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