Terrible news out of Eugene tonight, as freshman acrobatics and tumbling athlete Lauren Jones passed away this afternoon. While the cause of death isn't certain, university officials say that it's possibly linked to a bacterial meningitis infection that has already infected three people on campus. Jones was a freshman from Southwest DeKalb High School in Lithonia, Georgia.
"This is a terrible and sudden loss for our whole Oregon community, as well our acrobatics and tumbling team family," head coach Chelsea Shaw said in a statement. "Lauren was such a positive and bright spirit every day, and her smile was contagious. She will be greatly missed and our prayers and deepest condolences go out to her whole family, friends, previous teammates and anyone else who had the opportunity to know Lauren."
While it has not yet been confirmed that meningitis was the cause, university officials have begun administering emergency vaccines at Barnhart Hall as a precaution.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Lauren's family and teammates.