Third Damonte High student in three weeks dies

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO)-- Another Damonte Ranch High School student has died, the third in three weeks. The Washoe County Medical Examiner said the 14-year-old died at his Reno home.

The Washoe County School District announced the death Wednesday with a Connect Ed message to Damonte parents.

“It is with a heavy heart I am calling you today,” Principal Darvel Bell said in Wednesday’s message. “A freshman student passed away suddenly, and unexpectedly, yesterday evening. We are heartbroken by this additional loss in our school community, and we will make every effort to get the supports needed for your child. “

Damonte High School students Daniel Davis, 17, and Jacob Eckart, 18, both of Reno also died. Davis died Jan. 29 at Renown Regional Medical Center and Eckart died in his home on Feb. 3. The medical examiner said the latest death appears to be unrelated to deaths of Davis and Eckart.

Following the deaths of Davis and Eckart, Sheriff Darin Balaam issued what he called a life-or-death message to the community about the need to educate youth about the dangers of drug use.

"As a community, we must ensure that our children understand the horrendous potential for tragedy which may result from experimenting with drugs, even when the drugs come from someone a child knows,” Balaam said.

Bell’s Wednesday message said district-wide the schools are offering counseling services. He told Damonte parents to call their children’s counselors at 775-851-5656 if they need personalized help.

Damonte Ranch High School statement:
Dear Damonte Ranch Family,

This is your principal, Mr. Bell. It is with a heavy heart I am calling you today. A Freshman student passed away suddenly, and unexpectedly, yesterday evening. We are heartbroken by this additional loss in our school community, and we will make every effort to get the supports needed for your child. This unfortunate loss is an open investigation, therefore, we are unable to disclose any further details at this time.

District-wide community counselors, along with mental health professionals, are providing services and support at this time.

Your administration, teachers, and our staff are here for our students and for you. We encourage you to access available resources and contact information listed on the email Connect Ed. Please contact your child’s counselor if you are in need of individualized support at 851-5656.

Out of respect for the family and the opportunity to heal during this time, please help us to provide empathy, compassion, and love to all of our Mustang community.

Sincerely, Darvel Bell

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