High school athlete's sudden death stuns Baltimore community

A Baltimore community is mourning the sudden death of a 17-year-old star athlete who reportedly went into cardiac arrest after battling the flu. Kayla Linton, a senior at Lansdowne High School where she excelled in lacrosse, basketball, track and field hockey, died Jan. 28, The Baltimore Sun reported.

“There is no soul like Kayla’s,” her mother, Kerry, told the news outlet. “Kayla was the happiest, most cheerful, loving person. Kayla couldn’t even be mean to someone who wronged her. She didn’t have a mean bone in her body.”

Family told local media that Linton came down with the flu last Tuesday, though autopsy results on an official cause of death are not expected for several weeks.

“I just wish I could have seen what she would have grown up and done, she would have been an amazing person,” William Linton, the teen’s brother, told WJZ.

Classmates and friends remembered Linton at the high school basketball team’s game Tuesday night, with players taping up a t-shirt covered in memorial messages during warm-ups. The athletic department is planning a scholarship fund in her name, The Baltimore Sun reported.

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Students flooded Twitter with the hashtag #KL19 to spread messages of condolence.

“She was a ray of sunshine,” Todd Hawkins, the school’s athletic director, told the news outlet. “She didn’t have any enemies.”