Community comes together in wake of football player's death
HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - Neighbors are still grieving the death of 18-year-old Ronald Rouse, a loss that is felt throughout the entire Hartsville community.
The senior lineman was playing in Friday's homecoming football game when he suddenly collapsed on the sidelines.
"You could tell how much he was loved by his peers by the number of people who came by the hospital," says Senator Gerald Malloy.
According to Audrey Childers, a spokeswoman for the Darlington County School District, Rouse was walking onto the field for the next defensive play. He got into his stance, but immediately stood up and signaled for a time out.
As Rouse was walking off of the field, he collapsed. Doctors, coaches, and athletic trainers all ran to his aide. They were able to revive him, but as he was walking to the sidelines he collapsed again.
"His dad said his last words to him was while he was on the sidelines. He said ‘daddy, I'm alright'," says Senator Malloy.
He was taken to the hospital, but was declared dead at 8:45 p.m.
"He was doing what he loved," says Senator Malloy. Adding, "Football was tremendously important to him and it was obvious. You could tell by his zest for the game."
An autopsy report shows Rouse died from a fatal and sudden cardiac arrhythmia. The coroner says preliminary results show it was brought on by congenital enlarged heart.
"He was real funny, outgoing. He'd make anybody laugh," says Charlie Belangia, a senior at Hartsville High School.
An account is named in honor of Ronald Rouse at the Heritage Community Bank, located at 206 South Fifth Street. Neighbors can donate money in the teen's honor to help the family pay for the unexpected funeral costs.
"The community, what we have to do in times of crisis, is come together and lift this family up. Let them know that they have support and to cherish Mr. Rouse's life. It is an outpouring of support that would make you proud in such a tragic and difficult time," says Senator Malloy.
Other businesses in the area are raising money for the cause. Ruth's Drive-In will be collecting donations at their restaurant located at 659 West Carolina Avenue.
The community is reaching out to the Rouse family, by sending thoughts, prayers and love their way. The Hartsville Police Department posted on their Facebook page, asking their Facebook friends to be continuous in prayer for the Rouse family and be mindful of their loss during this difficult time.
Mayor Mel Pennington told WMBF News Anchor Michael Maely, "We are all definitely at a great loss. We're mourning with this family. This kid gave everything to his city and teammates. I'd expect this team will dedicate this entire season to him, because he was such an integral part of the team."
"I know the family is devastated, our hearts are with the family and the team during this terrible loss," the mayor cried.
On his twitter account, the mayor later stated, "I got a text this morning from a number I didn't recognize but it resonated. It simply said: We are, Red Foxes -- We are, Rouse Foxes."
Funeral services have been set, and family and friends will come together on Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the Hartsville High School arena to memorialize Ronald Rouse. Visit Hines Funeral Home for more information about the arrangements.
Crestwood High School agreed to allow Friday night's game to end as a 27-7 win for Hartsville, the score at halftime when the game was suspended. The second half of the game will not have to be played. "ThisMore>>
Ronald Ryles Rouse, Jr. Oct. 15, 1993 - Oct. 5, 2012 Service at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 Family Gathering from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 Cemetery: DarlingtonMore>>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-03-12 15:13:26 GMT
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – North Myrtle Beach Fire units were on the scene of a fire at the Ocean Keyes Resort Wednesday morning. NMB Fire tweeted at 9:24 a.m. that units were on the scene of theMore >>
North Myrtle Beach Fire units were on the scene of a fire at the Ocean Keyes Resort Wednesday morning.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-03-12 14:56:28 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The St. Patty's day event scheduled for this weekend is not planned to be the only spring event. The Oceanfront Merchant's Association is working with the Downtown RedevelopmentMore >>
Some in the Grand Strand are trying to spruce up spring business. While there are some events already set, like the St. Patrick's Day celebration, boardwalk business owners have other ideas. More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 9:57 AM EDT2014-03-12 13:57:54 GMT
Below is a news release from the Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina: Palmetto Goodwill and area Chambers of Commerce hosting Job Fair Thursday, March 13th Event will be held from 1:00 p.m.-5:00More >>
Palmetto Goodwill along with the Georgetown County and Myrtle Beach Area Chambers of Commerce will host a job fair and career readiness day at the Inlet Square Mall. The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 13th from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-03-12 13:08:20 GMT
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Over 50 employers and colleges are scheduled to appear on the Horry Georgetown Technical College campuses on March 11th to 13th from 10am to 2pm for the 2014 Job Fair events. "PutMore >>
Over 50 employers and colleges are scheduled to appear on the Horry Georgetown Technical College campuses on March 11th to 13th from 10am to 2pm for the 2014 Job Fair events.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 8:16 AM EDT2014-03-12 12:16:24 GMT
A 3-year-old boy who a passenger in a car that was hit by an alleged drunk driver Friday night has died, according to the Richland County Coroner's Office.Coroner Gary Watts said Josiah Caden Jenkins diedMore >>
Bond was denied Tuesday night for the man accused of driving drunk, crashing into a car, and killing the 3-year-old grandnephew of Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 7:49 AM EDT2014-03-12 11:49:19 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Today is starting off very mild and spring-like and highs today will reach the mid to low 70s. A strong cold front ushers rain into the area starting early this morning and lastingMore >>
Today is starting off very mild and spring-like and highs today will reach the mid to low 70s. A strong cold front ushers rain into the area starting early this morning and lasting off and on all day today.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 7:41 AM EDT2014-03-12 11:41:08 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Grand Stand is getting its first Walmart Neighborhood Market Place, which will only sell items typically found in grocery stores. The new Walmart is currently being builtMore >>
The Grand Stand is getting its first Walmart Neighborhood Market Place, which will only sell items typically found in grocery stores.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 7:17 AM EDT2014-03-12 11:17:07 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach City Council will make the first official step on its ruling on beach tents. Soon it could be added to the list of rules you see when you come toMore >>
On Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach City Council made the first official step on its ruling on beach tents. Soon it could be added to the list of rules you see when you come to the beach. More >>