Southold HS freshman, 14, dies after collapse at event

Ronan Guyer, a Southold High School freshman died

Ronan Guyer, a Southold High School freshman died Nov. 14, 2012 -- five days after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing during an upstate sporting event. Photo Credit: Handout

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A Southold High School freshman died Wednesday night -- five days after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing during an upstate sporting event, family members said Thursday.

Family members and school officials described the 14-year-old boy as kind, caring and a gifted student and athlete.

Ronan Guyer collapsed Nov. 9 while warming up for a race at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association cross-country championships in Elma, about 15 miles from Buffalo, according to his uncle, Ed Plaia, of East Moriches.

Guyer slipped on a patch of mud and hit the ground hard with his chest, Plaia said.

The teen spent days in a medically induced coma at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. Plaia said Guyer didn't have a history of heart problems.

He described Guyer, an honor student, as an avid snowboarder, skier and sailor. "He was awesome . . . every father's dream," Plaia said.

"This was a dynamite kid," said Lisa Plaia, the boy's aunt. "It is unbearable, this kind of loss."

The teen's parents, Stephen and Lori Guyer, of Southold, have two other children.

"Ronan was a genuinely kind, caring and compassionate person who was well-liked by students and staff," David Gamberg, superintendent of the Southold school district, said Thursday in a statement. "He was devoted to his studies and excelled academically."

Guyer was active in the Boy Scouts and Southold Yacht Club, and was on the Mattituck and Southold sailing teams. He was also a member of the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, Gamberg said.

"The district is truly saddened by this terribly tragic news, and Ronan will truly be missed," he said.

A crisis-intervention team was contacted after the teen's death, and support services will be available to students and staff, the superintendent said.

Services will be held Monday and Tuesday at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck.

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