Police & Fire

OBU: State police probing cause of student’s death

By Joel Phelps | The Arkadelphian

STORY UPDATED WITH CORRECTION: Yarbrough died at Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia

ARKADELPHIA — Arkansas State Police will be conducting an investigation into the cause of death of a Ouachita Baptist University student who collapsed over the weekend.

Clark Yarbrough

As part of university protocol when a student dies, the state’s head police agency has been asked to lead the investigation of Clark Yarbrough’s death, said Brooke Zimny, Ouachita’s assistant to the president for communications & marketing.

Yarbrough, 21, died on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 3, after suffering a seizure at Anthony Hall, a student dormitory on Ouachita’s campus.

Zimny said in a press conference Tuesday that there was no timeline for the results of an autopsy. “We don’t have those [results] yet,” Zimny said. “We’re eager to know more. We’ve requested [the details of] an autopsy but cannot speculate the cause of death.” Yarbrough’s body was being held at Welch Funeral Home on Monday.

Tigers Head Coach Todd Knight described the mood on campus as “sad” since Yarbrough’s death. “It’s a sad day and been a sad couple days for the staff and team,” Knight said. Knight described Yarbrough as a “beast on the field” but a “gentle giant” off the gridiron. “We’re saddened by this,” Knight added. “It’s taken us back, but we’re gonna grow from it. These kind of things make you reflect.”

Yarbrough died at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Paramedics were called to the dorm shortly after 7 a.m. to assist a student who was having a seizure and not breathing. He was transported to Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia, where he was later pronounced deceased.

“It’ll be tough today,” Knight said. “It’s going to be tough for the coaches … and everybody associated with the [football] program. We won’t get over it, but we’ll get through it.” 

As for the Tigers and the road ahead, Knight said he and the leadership team have met to decide on how to handle practice this week. “We’re going to pick our feet up and start taking steps,” he said. “His legacy is what drives us today.”

1 reply »

  1. Well? What were the findings of the autopsy?
    It’s one month later and we are still waiting for the cause of death of this previously very healthy 21-year-old young man. Perhaps the media should delve into the cause of so many young athletes dropping like flies now.