Press Releases

Family, friends mourn teen’s exercise death

The Associated Press
Friday December 21, 2001

LONG BEACH — Family and friends mourned the death of a high school student who collapsed while preparing for a Presidential Fitness Test. 

Fourteen-year-old Alan Tulia died Tuesday afternoon after practicing a run-walk mile for the state-required physical fitness exam. An autopsy report is pending. 

“Certainly the mood is one of shock, disbelief,” said Long Beach Polytechnic High School Principal Mel Collins. “Parents send their kids to school and they come home in the afternoon and this young fellow didn’t.” 

School officials said the boy complained of feeling tired after the walk-run and sat down to rest. A school nurse administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation after a friend who thought Tulia had fallen asleep couldn’t wake him. 

Tulia, who did not participate in athletics, was described as a bright boy and the top student in his freshman history class. School records show he suffered from asthma, but school officials said they don’t believe that played a part in his death. 

“Asthma was noted on his cumulative record but only a notation of just asthma and his mom told me this morning that he grew out of it,” Collins said.