Pittsburg teen collapses, dies while exercising with Marine Corps recruits

Image 1 of 2

BRENTWOOD (BCN) - A 17-year-old U.S. Marine recruit from Pittsburg died Tuesday during a physical training exercise last night.

Floyd Burrell had dreams of serving his country and was set to start recruit training this summer, after his high school graduation. The 17-year-old was a tall, fit and seemingly healthy teenager.

Floyd ran track and even played for Pittsburg High School's football team.

"I would go to the games and I'd see him playing, he was pretty good," said Pittsburg High junior, Nick Nogueda.

Last December, he joined the Brentwood Marine Corp's delayed entry program as a recruit, specializing in Field Artillery Support. On Tuesday, Floyd was just beginning his PT workout with his fellow recruits at Veterans Park in Brentwood when police say he collapsed.

"One of the recruits ran to a nearby water park where one of our own city employees jumped into action and started performing CPR on Floyd," said Lt. Walter O'Grodnick of Brentwood Police.

Floyd didn't make it.News of his sudden passing came as a shock to fellow students at Pittsburg High, who say they heard it was due to a medical condition.

"This morning in class my teacher told us that he had an asthma attack and it was during the training," said Nogueda.

Floyd was an honor student set to graduate in June and start recruit training in San Diego come August.

"I have absolutely no doubt that this was an aspiring young man who had a bright future ahead of him and is obviously an individual that's committed to serving our fine country," said Lt. O'Grodnick.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Brentwood Marines posted this photo on their Instagram, featuring Floyd's decision behind joining.

Floyd was quoted saying "I wanted to join the marines because they hold themselves to the highest standard.

The pride and professionalism they carry is something I want. I also wanted a challenge and the Marines can provide that for me. "

The Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent released this statement:

“We are deeply saddened to report the loss of a Pittsburg High School student. Yesterday, at approximately 6:00PM, senior Floyd Dupree Burrell, passed away unexpectedly during a run in the City of Brentwood. Floyd’s goal was to join the United States Marine Corps after graduation in June and he was participating in a run with other recruits when he collapsed suddenly.  Grief counselors are available at the high school to help support our students. We offer our prayers and sympathy to Floyd Dupree Burrell’s family, his friends, teammates and fellow students, his teachers and coaches, and the entire Pittsburg High School community.”

Grief counselors are on hand at the high school "to help support our students," Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent Janet Schulze said in a statement today.

"We offer our prayers and sympathy to Floyd Dupree Burrell's family, his friends, teammates and fellow students, teachers and coaches, and the entire Pittsburg High School community," Schulze said.

The Contra Costa County coroner's office will perform an autopsy to determine what led to Burrell's collapse.