A 22-year-old weightlifter who was studying at Iowa State University died after dropping a 315-pound barbell on his neck.
Kyle Thomson was working out at the Elite Edge Transformation Center in Ankeny, Iowa, on Dec. 26 when the barbell slipped out of his hands while he was bench pressing the weight, reported the Des Moines Register.
Ankeny Fire Chief James Clack said the barbell fell on Thomson's neck.
Joe Brammer, owner of the Elite Edge Transformation Center, said Thomson had a spotter when the incident occurred.
"This is a difficult and painful time, and our thoughts are with the member’s family. Grief counselors are meeting with staff and gym members over the next couple of days," Brammer said in the statement. "We would ask that you keep his family in your prayers."
Greg Schoon, Thomson's high school weight lifting coach, told WHO-TV that he was shocked to hear about he death of his former student.
"He was a big kid but he was slimming down. He looked great,” Schoon said. “He knew what he was doing. It was just a freak accident."
Thomson was a senior at Iowa State University and was expected to graduate in May 2017 with a degree in criminal justice.
The Des Moines Register reported that he wanted to be a K-9 handler and was losing weight to meet police department requirements.
“He enjoyed weightlifting,” Schoon said. “It was kind of one of his hobbies. He was transforming his body, getting into really good shape, trying to meet requirements to join the police force when he got out of Iowa State.”