Coroner finds no evidence of trauma in Colton sixth-grader who died after school soccer game

A Colton sixth-grader who collapsed during a school soccer game and died Tuesday suffered from an enlarged heart and early signs of congestive heart failure, according to a preliminary coroner’s report.

The death of 12-year-old Dominick Gallegos stunned classmates at Ulysses S. Grant Elementary School this week, while the boy’s parents claimed that a bully had stomped on their son’s chest.

On Thursday, however, the San Bernardino County Coroner posted a preliminary autopsy that reported no evidence of trauma in the boy’s death. 

“An autopsy was performed on Dominick today,” the report stated. “No evidence of trauma was found. Preliminary autopsy findings indicate an enlarged (hypertrophic) heart and evidence of early congestive cardiac failure.”  


According to authorities, the boy had collapsed while playing soccer at the elementary school around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday. 

Gallegos was transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead at 3:14 p.m., the coroner’s office said.

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Colton police were on campus Wednesday to assist the coroner’s office with the investigation, and a team of crisis counselors were available to assist students, said Katie Orloff, a spokeswoman for the Colton Joint Unified School District. 


The boy’s parents told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that a school bully stomped on their son’s chest before he lost consciousness.

School officials told Joel Gallegos, the boy’s father, that his son had fallen and lost consciousness after running into another student, according to KTLA. Students said that another student stomped on Dominick’s chest twice when he tried to pick up a soccer ball and slipped. 

Earlier this week, Orloff said the investigation had not revealed evidence of assault.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and all those affected by this horrible loss,” Orloff said.

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