Greenbrier High student found dead on school's running track

A Greenbrier High School student’s father discovered him dead Monday evening at the school’s running track.

Scott Gillen, 17, was found by his father, Kevin Gillen, sometime after 10 p.m. at the school lying face down on the track, said Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.

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

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

When Mr. Gillen arrived at the track, he found his son’s car, but couldn’t see him. He started to circle the track and then found him collapsed on the surface, Ms. Garrison said.

Scott had a medical history of asthma, but it is unknown if that contributed to his death, Ms. Garrison said. His parents told Ms. Garrison that Scott had not had any asthma-related issues in a long time and was not taking any medications for the condition.

An autopsy was performed today, 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 to complete.

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

School officials announced this afternoon that counselors were available at the school for any student needing one. A phone message left today with Greenbrier Principal Margie Hamilton was not immediately returned.

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