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Harvard-Westlake students mourn sudden death of 16-year-old swimmer

February 25, 2013 |  9:17 am

Classmates of a Harvard-Westlake swimmer who died last week after collapsing in the school pool are expected to honor the 16-year-old junior at an assembly on Monday.

Initial autopsy results indicated that Justin Carr suffered from cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle that can result in sudden cardiac arrest, according to a statement from the school. He died Friday. Paramedics were called to the school pool after Carr collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Jeanne M. Huybrechts, head of Harvard-Westlake, sent an email to parents informing them of Carr's passing.

"It is with profound sadness that I write to inform you of the tragic loss of our student and a member of HW's 11th grade, Justin Carr. Justin died unexpectedly late this afternoon. It is impossible for me to summarize all that Justin was in just a few sentences. Scholar, athlete, singer, actor, ebullient child, he was an extraordinary young man by any measure."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Justin's family, especially his parents, Darrell and Susan," Huybrechts wrote.

In addition to being a member of the swim team, Carr was one of 42 students picked for the 2012-13 Harvard-Westlake Chamber singers.

He was one of the lead actors in the school's production of "Grease" and other plays, and was also a student leader, according to KTLA News.

He led the school's Black Leadership Awareness and Culture Club and played a big part in recruiting actor Samuel L. Jackson to speak on campus for Black History Month.

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-- Eric Sondheimer

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