Family Questions LAFD Response Time in Death of Teen During High School Soccer Game

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — As the family of Lakewood High School soccer player Jesus Zambrano prepares for his funeral, fire officials are investigating paramedics’ response time on the day Zambrano died.

Zambrano, 16, suffered chest pains, then collapsed during a soccer game at Wilmington Middle School last Sunday.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials defended their side of the story at a press conference on friday, saying that paramedics received numerous 911 calls with conflicting information about the school’s address — delaying their response by several minutes.

“We received multiple calls with conflicting addresses,” said Deputy Chief David Yamahata on Friday. “As it relates to this response, LAFD resources made contact 15 minutes after the call. This was largely due to getting the wrong address.”

Team officials say it was 17 minutes before responders arrived on scene, and by that time, Zambrano’s conditioned worded.

“Throughout the whole time I was questioning where they were,” said Nelson Rivas, who coached Jesus’ Liverpool soccer team in an interview with the Daily Breeze. “We told them it was Wilmington Middle School and that should be easy to find.”

“It’s very visible,” the coach said. “There’s only one middle school in Wilmington. I don’t know why they would be confused.”

Friends and family at the game say the teen, who played in several neighborhood soccer leagues, suffered from pains as he was playing and walked to the side of the field, holding his chest before he stopped breathing and collapsed.

Jesus’ father performed CPR as the coach and others called for an emergency response.

Paramedics arrived and transported him to the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Harbor City, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was performed, but coroners officials say the cause of Zambrano’s death was not yet known, pending further tests.

Viewing is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Funeraria del Angel McNerney’s Mortuary, Wilmington. Services are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday at the mortuary.

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9 comments

  • Tony

    This is why it essential that a licensed technician should be on standby at all sport events. We cannot just lay the blame on the LAFD. There are times when paramedics are overwhelmed. AED’s are needed along with board members that are certified in first aid AND cpr.

  • Anonymous

    Learn how to proof read KTLA!!! Condition worded?!?!? Huh?

    As far as the kid.,. He could have died if they showed up in 2 seconds. A kid dies and you have to blame someone.

  • anonymous

    yes he could have died within seconds… but that fact that they took so long the family will always wonder "what if?" It is very important that schools have AEDs. So sorry to the family and friends.

  • Bryan

    This is crap. You guys blame ktla and back up some idiot that can not do their job. I looked up Wilmington middle school and it only came up as that address. People are so lazy! Do you job. They pay you for that. We don't need aeds. If the person can't do CPR do you really think they can use an aed? Every minute counts and they failed.

  • anonimous

    In either case 15 to 17 minutes is unacceptable for any 911 call. Incidents happen daily at schools, parks, etc and for lafd to use it as an excuse that they didnt have an address, is bs. They sent paramedics somewhere, supposedly to the wrong location (i guess they felt that by sending them somewhere they met their obligations). There is one middle school in this city, hard to miss when this is their service area.

  • patricia wagstaff

    As I watched tv today and heard of this horrible incident. I picked up my droid phone and googled and asked for the school’s address. Took me < 20 sec or less.
    I believe this city is small and how many middle schools are there.? I believe the answer is one.