Medical examiner: Moon Valley football player's death ruled accidental

Posted at 1:45 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-31 00:57:58-04

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner has ruled that accidental blunt force trauma killed a north Phoenix high school football player earlier this month. 

Carlos Sanchez of Moon Valley High School collapsed during a game against Glendale Cactus on October 20 and later died. 

According to the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the incident happened while Sanchez was being blocked during the game.

AIA officials told ABC15 that the play was clean, as Sanchez fell back and hit his head on the ground.

“If you get a wack on the head, the brain can shift a little bit and that can cause a blood vessel to break and then you can have blood develop between the brain and the skull and that can force the brain down and even kill you,” said Dr. Donald Bucklin, with US HealthWorks.

AIA sports information coordinator Seth Polansky said proper protocols were in place for the treatment of the athlete, and also proper safety precautions were in place with the uniform, the helmet and everything prior to that game.  

Moon Valley Football Coach Seth Millican said Sanchez was "the very best of us."

"I hope his family can find some peace in knowing that Carlos Sanchez will live as the symbol of all that is pure, all that is good, and all that is selfless in the human spirit," Millican said.

Glendale Union High School District officials said Monday that they extend their deepest condolences and are continuing to focus on supporting the Sanchez family.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Sanchez's family to go towards medical bills and funeral costs.