The Latest: Police say teen hit by errant hammer throw

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WHEATON, Ill. (AP) The Latest on the college student who was killed by a hammer throw at track meet (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

A coroner has listed head trauma as the preliminary cause of death of a college student who died after being struck during a hammer-throw event at a track-and-field meet near Chicago.

The DuPage County Coroner's office says in a news release that it reached the preliminary finding after conducting an autopsy on the body of 19-year-old Ethan Roser.

Roser was working as a volunteer during Saturday's meet at Wheaton College, where he was a freshman, when he was struck by an errant throw of the large metal ball attached to a steel wire called a hammer.

Wheaton Police say Roser was at the meet to measure the distance of the throws in the event and that he was standing near the field where the metal balls land when he was hit by an errant throw.


11:45 a.m.

A suburban Chicago police official says the college student who was killed during a hammer-throw event was struck by an errant throw during warmups as he stood off to the side of the field.

Wheaton Police Deputy Chief Bill Murphy said Monday that 19-year-old Ethan Roser had volunteered at the meet and was going to mark the distances of the throws when he was struck in the head by the metal ball of the thrown hammer.

He says the Wheaton College freshman was standing near the area where the metal balls land, but not in it.

Murphy says that the department is investigating the death to determine if there was criminal negligence, but that there is no evidence yet showing that there was.

Roser was from Cincinnati, Ohio, but spent much of his childhood in Zimbabwe, where his parents were missionaries.


11:00 a.m.

The father of a college student from Ohio who died after being struck during a hammer-throw event at a suburban Chicago track meet remembered his son as a strong Christian.

The Rev. Mark Roser says 19-year-old Ethan Roser of Cincinnati shared his faith with others and it guided his life. Ethan Roser died Saturday while volunteering at a track and field competition at Wheaton College when he was accidentally struck by a hammer. An autopsy is planned Monday.

Ethan Roser's parents were missionaries and he grew up in Zimbabwe before his family moved back to the U.S. The freshman transferred to Wheaton College in January and was on the soccer team.

The hammer used in such competitions is a metal ball attached to a steel wire. It can weigh as much as 16 pounds.