Beavs try to come to terms with loss

MIKE RILEY WAS at a loss for words at times during the press conference following the sudden and unexpected passing of Fred Thompson.

Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said even if EMTs were in the room at the time Fred Thompson collapsed, they probably wouldn't have been able to save him because the cardiac arrhythmia he experienced is difficult to treat.

Hastings said there was no evidence of a crime being committed and an autopsy is planned for Friday.

Thompson was with teammates when he collapsed around 6:20 p.m. Mike Riley said there was no known preexisting heart condition. The coach looked dazed as he spoke about Thompson.

"This is a devastating and tragic event for all of us here, for Fred's family in particular," said Riley.

"We'll never forget Fred."

Riley said he talked with Beaver safety Ryan Murphy, his teammate and close friend at Oakland Tech.

"Everybody liked Fred…he was the perfect teammate. He was young and growing," said Riley.

It's finals week at OSU, and there is a tentative memorial service set for Jan. 8 at Oregon State. That's when all the teams report for the winter term after the holiday break.

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