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Parents Of Man Who Died At Severn Wrestling Academy Speak Out

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SEVERN, Md. (WJZ)—A 25-year-old Maryland man dies after practicing wrestling moves at a local school. Police ruled his death accidental. Now his parents are speaking out.

Monique Griego has more on the action they plan to take.

Quentin Washington wanted to be a wrestler since he was a little boy.

“He died doing what he wanted to do,” said Robert Washington Jr., victim’s father.

In pursuit of that dream,  his parents say he joined Gilberg’s Pro Wrestling Academy in Severn.

But a little less than two weeks ago something went terribly wrong inside the gym while the 25-year-old practiced a wrestling move.

“Where they run and they I guess they’re supposed to hit you in your chest and you fall back,” said Orie Davis, victim’s mother.

Washington hit his head hard.

“They said he fell and seemed disoriented, so they just thought he was winded,” Davis explained.

Davis learned her son went back into the ring but soon passed out and began vomiting. That’s when he was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery. But by the time she arrived, doctors said he was brain-dead.

Police found no suspicious circumstance and ruled his death accidental.

WJZ tried to talk with Gilberg’s school Tuesday, but it was closed and WJZ was unable to reach anyone by phone.

“I had one call from the owner I believe was in Arizona saying he was sorry,” Davis said.

While the Maryland State Athletic Commission does regulate pro wrestling events, it does not oversee wrestling schools.

Still, the director told WJZ’s media partner, The Baltimore Sun, “The commission extends its deepest condolences to the family of this wrestler. We are deeply saddened by this loss.”

The family says they plan to pursue legal action and Washington’s father wants to change the law.

“I believe that any facility that deals with wrestling should have medical personnel on staff at all times,” he said.

News of Washington’s death is being discussed on various wrestling blogs. Some people who wrestle at that same gym are saying you have to sign a waiver to work out there. But it’s unclear if Washington signed one.

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