US & Canada

Hammer kills Illinois student in freak athletics accident

Ethan Roser Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Ethan Roser was volunteering at the track and field event at his college

An Illinois college student has died after being hit by a hammer during an athletics competition.

Ethan Roser, 19, was accidentally struck by the hammer on Saturday afternoon at the campus of Wheaton College in suburban Chicago.

The 19-year-old, who was volunteering at the event, died in hospital after paramedics treated him at the scene.

In track and field the hammer is a metal ball, weighing between 9-16lb (4-7kg), attached to a thin wire.

The competitor usually spins around several times before throwing the ball.

Mr Roser, a first-year student from Cincinnati, Ohio, was the son of Christian missionaries who spent his early years in Zimbabwe, reports the Washington Post.

His brother, Johnathan, wrote on Saturday on Facebook that his sibling had been "called home to be with our Lord".

"We are in shock and struggling to comprehend how we will live without him."

Wheaton College President Philip Ryken asked the campus community to pray for Mr Roser's loved ones.

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