The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Feb. 1—Air Force cadet Hunter Brown died of a blood clot in his lungs, the result of clotting that developed in his legs following an injury suffered in football practice.
These were the findings of an autopsy released Wednesday. Brown died at 11:38 a.m. Jan. 9 while on the way to class at the academy.
“The overall findings are consistent with this being an accidental death originating from an injury sustained during football practice several weeks prior to death,” said the report issued by the El Paso County Coroner, signed by Dr. Jarod Murdoch.
Brown, an offensive lineman for the Falcons, suffered a Lisfranc injury on his left foot and underwent surgery in November. He then developed blood clots in his leg.
“What happened was a total shock,” Brown’s mother, Candyce, told Military.com. “He was doing well with his recovery.”
The toxicology report found no alcohol or drugs in Brown’s system, though there was a presence of cotinine — a biomarker of tobacco smoke exposure.
The final diagnosis also noted enlarged liver, heart and spleen for Brown, a Louisiana native who was 6-foot-3 and 292 pounds at the time of his death at the at the age of 21.
“It’s just been gut-wrenching, heartbreaking,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said Wednesday.
“You miss him. He always had a great, great sense of humor, was a tremendous worker, could get along with anyone and always seemed to pull for everyone.”
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