By Daniel Bases
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey high school football player's death on Saturday was the result of massive internal bleeding from a lacerated spleen, the medical examiner said in a statement on Monday.
The autopsy showed Evan Murray, the quarterback of the Warren Hills Regional High School, had an abnormally large spleen, thereby making it more susceptible to injury.
"The autopsy determined that the cause of death was massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage (massive internal bleeding) due to a laceration of the spleen," Morris County, New Jersey Medical Examiner Dr. Ronald Suarez said in a statement published by local media.
Suarez said there was no evidence of head trauma or heart disease and ruled the death accidental.
Repeated calls and emails to the medical examiners office were not immediately returned.
A fundraising page set up by supporters of his family says that Murray, 17, a senior at the high school, took a hit behind the line of scrimmage during a game on Friday evening.
Murray died on Friday after being brought to Morristown Medical Center.
"The family requests people respect their privacy at this time," Elaine Andrecovich, spokeswoman for the hospital told Reuters.
In an effort to help the Murray family defray the costs of medical and funeral bills, a classmate set up a gofundme donation page, garnering over $52,000 in two days from 1,071 donors as of Monday evening.
The school, located in the northwest corner of the state, opened on Monday with over 30 grief counselors on hand to attend to the 1,325 students at the high school, said Dr. Gary Bowen, interim superintendent of the Warren Hills Regional School District.
"It was a very challenging day. We had great support from our neighboring school districts and many others from around the state, in addition to our own staff," Bowen told Reuters.
(Reporting By Daniel Bases; Editing by Bernard Orr)