A Buckeye (Ariz.) Verrado High School baseball player who died in May after helping send his team to the state semifinals died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed on Wednesday.
Bryan McKinsey, 17, a pitcher for the Verrado baseball team, was found dead in his bed on May 9, the boy’s father, Daryl McKinsey, previously told The Arizona Republic.
The Medical Examiner report officially lists the cause of death as “accidental fentanyl intoxication.”
Just six days before his death, McKinsey earned a save in Verrado’s 5-4 win over Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, sending the Vipers into the Class 5A state semifinals for the first time in school history.
Verrado lost the state championship game to Peoria Liberty, 6-2.
When reached for comment on Wednesday, Verrado baseball coach Michael Ward said: “In respect to the family’s privacy, I would not like to comment.”
“The district has previously invested in a grant and counseling referral resources for interventions and school community awareness of the ongoing dangers posed by synthetic opioids and other harmful drugs. Our health curriculum also addresses these real issues in our schools and the greater community,” said Dennis Runyan, Agua Fria Union District superintendent.
“The continuing need for community input and student support is evidenced by the number of tragedies across the state and nationally. The McKinsey family had previously requested a level of privacy and we wish to continue to honor their wishes from our perspective for the school faculty and the McKinsey family.”