Dad finds teen dead on track at school

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The father of a Greenbrier High School student found his son dead late Monday on the school's running track, where the young man had been working out to earn a fitness badge needed for Eagle Scout rank.

Kevin Gillen said he found his son Scott, 17, after 10 p.m., lying facedown on the track, Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said.

Mr. Gillen, of the 400 block of Armstrong Way in Evans, called 911 and attempted to revive his son with CPR. Emergency responders took Scott to Doctors Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Mr. Gillen "said he was working toward a fitness badge for Eagle Scouts," Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said Tuesday. "He rotated running with weightlifting. Last night, he went up to the track to run alone and was gone longer than expected."

When Mr. Gillen arrived at the track, he saw his son's car but couldn't see him. He found Scott collapsed on the surface, Ms. Garrison said.

Scott had a medical history of asthma, but it was not known if that contributed to his death, Ms. Garrison said. His parents told her Scott had not had asthma-related issues in a long time and was not taking asthma medication.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday, but the results are inconclusive until a toxicology test and tests on tissue samples are conducted, Ms. Garrison said. Those tests can take more than six weeks.

"He was a good-looking fellow; healthy looking," Ms. Garrison said. "I guess we just don't ever know."

School officials said Tuesday that counselors were available for students. Additional counseling might be necessary for a student body and community suffering from multiple recent tragedies, Columbia County school board member Mike Sleeper said.

Greenbrier football player Chris Smith, 17, drowned during a July outing at Thurmond Lake. Later that month, Greenbrier band member Haley Van Pelt suffered serious injuries during a car accident. Haley was moved this month to Atlanta-based Shepherd Center from Medical College of Georgia Hospital, according to www.caringbridge.org.

Schools Superintendent Charles Nagle said his office will continue to monitor the mood of students and faculty at Greenbrier.

"It's hard to imagine, as adults, the loss of someone so young," Mr. Nagle said. "The whole community is suffering right now."

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (19)

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xanadu
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xanadu 09/30/09 - 05:35 am
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This is such a sad story. My

This is such a sad story. My sympathies to the Gillen family. God Bless Scott.

mercyme
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mercyme 09/30/09 - 06:20 am
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God bless the family and

God bless the family and friends of this young man and may His grace see you through this sad time in your lives.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 09/30/09 - 08:08 am
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Sympathies and prayers. What

Sympathies and prayers. What a tragedy.

getalife
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getalife 09/30/09 - 08:08 am
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May God bless this family.

May God bless this family. What a terrible loss.

ASU98
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ASU98 09/30/09 - 08:28 am
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Very sad news. I cannot

Very sad news. I cannot imagine the pain the Gillen family and those who knew Scott are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

irish62009
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irish62009 09/30/09 - 08:43 am
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Prayers and Blessings to the

Prayers and Blessings to the Gillen family, I too have lose a son only a few years older than yours and I know there is no greater pain than of of the loss of a child.May your creator give you strength and hope.

way
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way 09/30/09 - 09:17 am
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Such a tragedy to loose such

Such a tragedy to loose such a nice young man at such a young age - and a good looking young man too. My sympathy to the family and friends and loved ones.

stillamazed
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stillamazed 09/30/09 - 09:24 am
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How traggic and especially

How traggic and especially for his father who found him and tried to revive him, I can only imagine how heartbreaking this is for the whole family and prayers go out to them. What's really sad is here is a good young man trying to do something positive and dies while all these no good hoodlums run the streets comitting crimes and nothing happens to them. I guess maybe they will suffer their punishment in the end.

Boston93
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Boston93 09/30/09 - 09:24 am
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Don't know Scott or the

Don't know Scott or the family, but his dedication and hard work to become a Eagle Scout is very commendable and all Eagle Scouts that I've known over the years have become super individuals and leaders in the world. Thanks for your committment Scott and thanks to your family for guiding you into a super program. God Bless You and Your Family, may they keep the memories of your dedication to become a better American and leader in the world of many problems. As an Eagle Scout I know that you would have been very helpful here on earth, but it appears that God has even better things for you as one of his leaders.

spokentruth
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spokentruth 09/30/09 - 10:38 am
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my heart goes out to this

my heart goes out to this family...God bless you and keep you.

citizensmh
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citizensmh 09/30/09 - 11:11 am
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My thoughts and prayers to

My thoughts and prayers to the family. God bless you for raising a wonderful young man.

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 09/30/09 - 11:44 am
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May light eternal shine on

May light eternal shine on him.....

storiesihaveread
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storiesihaveread 09/30/09 - 12:56 pm
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I could not even fathom

I could not even fathom burying one of my children. My God bless the family of Kevin.

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 09/30/09 - 04:02 pm
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Condolences to Scott's

Condolences to Scott's friends and family. This has been a tough year for the GHS Class of '10. Hang in there, kids.

disssman
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disssman 09/30/09 - 05:25 pm
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A sad loss for the family and

A sad loss for the family and us as a society. Young people of this caliber are few and far between. I hope they award the family the Eagle Badge, I am sure it would mean a lot to the family.

yvalentine6
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yvalentine6 10/01/09 - 01:17 am
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This is just so sad.This is

This is just so sad.This is clearly an exceptional young man and I am sure that he contributed wonderful things to the world during his short time here. My prayers, too, will go up for his family and friends.

onlynaugusta
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onlynaugusta 10/01/09 - 08:30 am
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Allow God to be your pillow

Allow God to be your pillow of comfort. I pray for the family during this time of sorrow. May Scott rest in the hands of the Lord.

xpresso1
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xpresso1 10/01/09 - 10:47 am
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I am so sorry for this

I am so sorry for this family. Just try to cling to God for your comfort, I know its hard not to question in times like this. My prayers will be with you.

EZ4U2C
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EZ4U2C 10/01/09 - 12:30 pm
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My Prayers are with this

My Prayers are with this Family. What a heart wrenching tragedy.

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