Three Collinwood high school athletes have died in the past couple years, and just NOW the authorities are getting suspicious? Let's just say if this happened at a predominately white high school, say, Solon, people would have acted a hell of a lot faster. Unbelievable.
[Joi] Smith, 20, who ran track at the University of Michigan, succumbed to a rare muscle cancer almost two weeks ago. Regina Adams, who was part of the school's 2004 state title team, contracted encephalitis that same year, and died July 27, 2006, after nearly two years in a coma. And Brittany Holmes, a 2003 Collinwood graduate, died May 16, 2006, after an eight-month battle with a rare lung cancer.
Another Collinwood athlete, linebacker William Seldon, missed this fall football season while receiving chemotherapy to treat cancer in the back of his nose.
The cancer connection led a handful of parents and students to point to the basement where all athletes spend time, citing the condition of the area as concerning. Tiles are missing from generous portions of the ceiling, exposing pipes and crumbling bricks. Along one wall, a foot-long hole in the concrete reveals wire mesh and a glimpse at the inner construction. In a closet-sized room in the weight room, wires dangle from the exposed ceiling.
Cleveland Department of Public Health Director Matthew Carroll said he was forwarded information about the track deaths from the office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson last week. Carroll said the health department has not yet investigated Collinwood, but that he initially sees no "obvious connection" between the deaths.