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No cause determined in football player’s death

The Associated Press
Wednesday October 23, 2002

MARTINEZ — An autopsy has not been able to determine what caused a 19-year-old Diablo Valley College football player to collapse and die during practice in August. 

The Contra Costa County coroner’s office ruled the cause of James Williams’ Aug. 19 death “undetermined.” 

“It’s very hard for us,” his mother, Jerlean Williams, said Monday. “We did want to at least know what it was.” 

Toxicology tests done for drugs or alcohol came back negative, and a heart examination found no outstanding causes for Williams’ death, said coroner’s deputy Al Burt. 

Williams collapsed and could not be revived after colliding with a teammate. 

He had a physical exam earlier this year, before playing. 

The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Williams was a linebacker at McClymonds High School in Oakland, from which he graduated in 2000. He was on the Oakland All-City team in 1999 after leading the team in sacks.