GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - D'Iberville High School football player Latrell Dunbar has died. Harrison County Schools Superintendent Henry Arledge told WLOX Sports' Dave Schroeder that Dunbar passed away at Ocean Springs hospital at 10:20 pm Friday night.
Dunbar collapsed after a 3rd-&-15 play in the 3rd quarter of D'Iberville's game at Gautier.
"He was walking back to the huddle and he collapsed," said D'Iberville Coach Buddy Singleton.
Team trainers immediately attended to Dunbar on the field, and began giving mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions.
At first, Dunbar was face-down and motionless after the play. It is not clear at this time what caused Dunbar to go down. The running back was blocking away from action on the play.
Singleton made it out to his player's side in the moments after the collapse.
"He opened his eyes and took a last gasp," Singleton said. "The only thing that went through my mind was, was there anything I could have done to prevent it?"
Dunbar reportedly stopped breathing three times and had to be revived on the field.
It was earlier reported that it took 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on site. But WLOX News has since learned that Acadian Ambulance did have a unit at the game.
"Per protocol, our ambulance arrived at all games 30 minutes before kick off. Last night our crew arrived, and we were directed by event coordinators where to park the ambulance," said Acadian Ambulance Spokesman Bennie French.
French said it's also policy that after parking, the crew must place a stretcher and advanced life support equipment close to the field. During the game, they stay near the stretcher. He said during half-time, they went to the restroom.
"After coming back from restroom, a law enforcement officer approached them and told them they may be needed on the field," French said.
He said the one paramedic went to the field to the injured player.
"The paramedic began initial treatment on field while a second crew member went to the ambulance and maneuvered it onto the field and readied for transport. Crews responded appropriately and transported the patient to the hospital," French said. "On behalf of Acadian Ambulance service, I'd like to say our thoughts and prayers and with the Dunbar family."
Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus said an autopsy may be performed as early as Saturday to determine exactly how Dubar died.
The game resumed after a long delay, and Dunbar's Warriors valiantly responded from 2nd-half deficits twice to defeat Gautier 17-14 while Dunbar was on his way to the hospital.
"They just wanted this one for 'Fred.' They knew he was struggling," Singleton said.
The team received word of Dunbar's passing after the game.
"I guess God needed him a lot more than we did," Singleton said.
School officials say they are providing counselors for players, cheerleaders, and students at this time.