- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A trooper who collapsed at a National Guard firing range while trying out for the state police tactical team died of “exertional heatstroke,” the state medical examiner said in a death certificate released Monday.

An autopsy found that the death last week of Trooper Kyle Young was an accident, with the medical examiner saying it occurred during “strenuous physical activity in high environmental temperature.”

Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said in a statement that he ordered a review of the application and training processes for all State Police special-purpose teams. He said additional information is needed before a final report can be issued and “a complete understanding of the circumstances that led to the death of Trooper Young is determined.”

Douglas Casa, the head of the Korey Stringer Institute, which works to prevent sudden death in athletics and is named for an NFL player who died of exertional heatstroke in 2001, said Monday that heat deaths are more common than people realize, especially in athletes, members of the military and laborers.

“In a lot of circumstances when there are external pressures, like a soldier in basic training or an athlete trying to make a team, like in an August practice, or … the Vermont situation, he’s trying to get a job or a better job, he might be feeling (badly) but he’s not going to back off, he’s not going to tell anyone because he doesn’t want to appear weak,” said Casa, whose organization is housed at the University of Connecticut.

Young, 28, of Monkton, a father of two young girls, collapsed on Thursday afternoon at the Vermont National Guard’s Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho. He was later pronounced dead at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

A funeral is scheduled for Young on Wednesday in Watertown, New York, near his hometown of Brownville. His family could not immediately be reached for comment.

National Weather Service records show the high temperature on Thursday was 86 degrees with about 60 percent humidity.


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