CHULA VISTA - A community is in disbelief Thursday because of the sudden and tragic death of a 15-year-old boy who died while trying to recreate a stunt online.
Word about David Nuno’s bizarre death spread quickly through social networks.
The teen died in a freak accident after he fell onto a drinking glass, puncturing his neck while playing a pass out game with friends in his bedroom, police said Wednesday.
Several Eastlake High School students told 10News they were shocked to find out he was playing a dangerous game.
“Like everyone else, I couldn’t believe it ,” said Mariam Valenzuela. “I thought it was just a twisted joke, like who would do that?”
Valenzuela’s sister, Hazel, organized a candlelight march Wednesday night from Eastlake High to the Nuno home to comfort the family.
The students started by lighting candles and saying a prayer. From Eastlake High School, more than a hundred of them walked, carrying R.I.P. signs, bouquets of flowers and candles.
"We just saw him on Monday, and now he's gone," said Miyanna Walker, a friend. "He's gone."
Blue balloons floated above the crowd, marking the group's path from the school to David's home just a few miles away. That's where his life came to a tragic end.
Jessica Acala couldn’t hold back the tears as she spoke about her friend. She said it was hard to find out that one of her closest friends is gone.
“It shouldn’t have happened to you, even though you were just having a good time, were trying to have a good time with your friends," said Acala. “I miss you!”
Friends said they miss a kid who was funny and kind. He also was one of the youngest members of a student group that mentored others.
"He was in peer mediation. He helped others. He wasn't about himself. He was about helping others. Helping people solve their problems," said Sergio Brito, a friend.
Police said the teen and some friends were watching a YouTube video showing how to make yourself pass out.
“The victim apparently did what was in the video, fell forward and landed on a drinking glass on the floor,” said Chula Vista Police Captain Gary Wedge, who added that the glass shattered and punctured the teen’s neck.
The boy’s friends flipped his motionless body over, said Wedge. The other teens told police their friend came to for a few moments, and ran down the stairs for help. He llater collapsed on a landing.
His father held a towel over the wound until paramedics arrived. The boy was rushed to Rady Children's Hospital to be treated for a deep cut to his carotid artery, but he did not survive.
Police described the death as a tragic accident, which could have been avoided if the teens hadn’t been trying to make themselves pass out.
“Nothing good can come out of watching videos like that,” said Wedge.
Crisis team to help students cope
A crisis team was expected to be at Chula Vista's Eastlake High School Thursday to help students cope with the unexpected death of Nuno.
Nuno was pronounced dead at Rady Children's Hospital at 8:09 p.m. The Medical Examiner's Office listed the death as accidental and the cause as "sharp force injuries of neck."
"The glass shattered into multiple pieces, lacerating (his) neck," the Medical Examiner's Office reported.
The majority of Eastlake students are on a two-week fall recess until Oct. 9, but some students are attending inter-session courses and will be able to meet with crisis counselors today. Ron Lopez, an administrator who oversees crisis management, said the Sweetwater Union High School District, which includes Eastlake, would educate the full student body about the dangers of the pass out game when school resumes next month.
The pass out game played by Nuno has been around for several years and has caused several dozen deaths over the past couple decades, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A study in the Journal of Pediatrics this year found that 6.1 percent of eighth-graders who participated in a survey reported playing the pass out game at least once. Players claim to get a euphoric, drug-free high when they use their hands to cut off the flow of oxygen to their brains.