February 17, 2006

Calif. cheerleader, 14, dies suddenly at practice

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - School officials and police said
they were baffled on Friday over the sudden death of a
14-year-old girl who lost consciousness after being tossed into
the air at cheerleading practice.

Shauna Stuewe, a freshman at Esperanza High School in
Anaheim, had just been twirled in the air by teammates when she
complained of feeling dizzy and collapsed on Wednesday. She was
pronounced dead at a local hospital after suffering cardiac

"We did perform an autopsy, but the cause of death was
inconclusive pending further microscopic and toxicology tests,
which can take anywhere from six to eight weeks," Orange County
Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Stuewe, who also was a gymnast and had passed a physical
before joining the cheerleading squad, landed normally in the
routine before losing consciousness, school officials said.

"It's very unusual and very tragic," Amormino said.