Reporting Mike Hellgren
CLINTON, Md. (WJZ) — Shock and sadness on a Maryland high school campus. A 17-year-old collapses and dies while jogging. Students in Surrattsville High in Clinton, Prince George’s County, can’t believe their friend and classmate is gone so soon.
Mike Hellgren has more on this mysterious death.
This was a straight-A student getting ready to go to college in the Baltimore area later this year. Authorities do not know of any preexisting health conditions that led to her collapse on the track.
Heartbroken classmates released pink balloons on the track at Surrattsville High School in honor of Tekau Rasayon who died here while jogging in gym class. The honor student was set to attend Towson University in the fall. Her father said she told her friends she was having chest pains moments before she collapsed. She danced with him the night before her death.
“We were waltzing last night,” Niyana Rasayon, Tekau Rasayon’s father, said. “I was teasing her and she was teasing me.”
“She was a beautiful person,” Tristona Fry, Tekau Rasayon’s friend at school, said. “She was the nicest girl you would ever meet. Even before she knew who I was, she was just so kind.”
Loved ones say Tekau Rasayon was the picture of health– a vegetarian and an avid runner.
“We were just laughing about how her healthy diet was so much better than ours,” Fry said.
“It’s going to be really hard,” Tekau Rasayon’s friend Kayla Barnes said.
As they gathered to honor her, friends and family cried together and held each other for support, searching for the “why” in this tragedy.
“Tekau had such a wonderful spirit that we can’t help but just celebrate who she was,” Kristi Golden, the principal of Surrattsville High, said. “We never know what’s going to happen so we have to just live our lives the best we can, treat each other with love and respect and dignity because that’s what Tekau did. And hopefully, with time we will understand and look forward.”
Classmates also held a moment of silence for her. It was a moving ceremony for a life that touched so many others.
Pink was her favorite color and many classmates wore it in her honor on Thursday.