A student at a New York City Catholic school died after colliding with another player during a soccer game Monday, the boy's stepfather told NBC 4 New York.
Thomas Jakelich, a student at the Loyola School on the Upper East Side, was playing in an afternoon game against United Nations International School at Randall's Island when he collided with the other player and went down.
His stepfather, Rick Newman, said the collision wasn't particularly notable, but Jakelich looked pale and had pain in his side afterwards.
Jakelich was taken to Harlem Hospital with internal bleeding that was difficult to diagnose, the stepfather said. He said doctors worked on his stepson for six hours and he underwent surgery. He died Monday night, about six hours after the collision, and never responded to family members who had rushed to be by his side.
Newman described Jakelich as a humble, empathetic kid with special qualities who helped students who were lonely and was easy to talk to. He was in his first year at Loyola and Newman said Jakelich was a talented soccer player with scholarship potential.
His friends told stories about a kind, humble and empathetic teen who comforted friends feeling lonely.
No one is to blame for Jakelich's death, Newman said. He said it stemmed from an unremarkable accident that became complicated.
Tony Oroszlany, the school's president, offered condolences to the Jakelich family in a statement Wednesday.
Trinity School, an unaffiliated school on the Upper West Side, also offered its condolences to parents in a letter sent earlier this week.
"Today we received sad news from our colleagues at the Loyola School. One of their tenth grade students passed away last night after sustaining injuries during a varsity soccer game yesterday afternoon," the school said in the letter sent to parents earlier this week, adding "Our hearts and prayers are with the family and the Loyola School community at this difficult time.
The New York City Medical Examiner's Office is investigating the death.