Cameron Espinosa, a student at Haas Middle School in Corpus Christi, had a severe allergic reaction to the ant bites during halftime on Wednesday. Corpus Christi Independent School District officials confirmed Espinosa’s death Monday on its Facebook page.
“CCISD is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our very own Haas Middle School students,” the statement read. “We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of this student. The District will do all we can in support of the student’s family and the entire Haas school community during this sad time.”
Grief counselors will be provided to students and faculty as needed. All athletic and campus extracurricular events have been cancelled for the remainder of the week, according to the statement.
“He was standing there on the sidelines and just started yelling ‘Ants! Ants!” Lorette Williams, director of communications for the school district, told the New York Daily News.
Principal Lynda Ann De Leon told CBS affiliate KZTV that the school’s football coach told Espinosa to “get a water bottle and spray yourself off” until he started screaming in pain. School board member Hector Salina reportedly found more than 20 ant piles on the school’s football field.
“If, in fact, the coaches there knew that there was a problem with ants before … Then you know what? It should have been taken care of,” Salina told KRIS-TV.