A week before she was slated to graduate, a Navy recruit collapsed and died Feb. 22 following physical training at Great Lakes, Illinois, officials told Navy Times.
Seaman Recruit Kierra Evans, 20, of Louisiana, was participating in a physical fitness assessment, or PFA, at the time, according to Lt. Joseph Pfaff, a Recruit Training Command spokesman.
Personnel administered first aid to Evans and she was transported to a hospital in nearby Lake Forest, where she died several hours later, Pfaff said.
The cause of Evans’ death remains unclear, and autopsy results will not be available for two to three months, an official with the Lake County Coroner’s Office said Monday.
Evans was taking part in a standard physical fitness evaluation given to all recruits before graduation, he said.
“She was on track to graduate March 1st, as long as she passed all remaining training requirements,” Pfaff said. “The Navy, and Recruit Training Command, take the welfare of our sailors very seriously and are investigating the cause of this tragic loss."
Evans arrived at Great Lakes on Jan. 2 and was scheduled to graduate last Friday, according to her obituary.
“In so little time everything has happened so fast,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Jan. 2. “Yes I will miss just walking in my mommy’s room just to talk or admire how much I love to just be in her presence.”
Evans wrote that she would miss her niece and little sister too.
“But now I am a part of the U.S. Navy and Chicago is where I belong for 8 weeks,” Evans added. “To all of my closest friends that stood by my side through it ALL I love you all oso much and will be back soon.”
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.