BYU football player, 22, dies in tragic accident

Sports

BYU’s football program confirmed the death of the 22-year-old on Friday evening. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KTVX) – Sione Veikoso, a football player for BYU, has died in a tragic accident at a construction site in Hawaii, according to the school’s football program. He was 22.

Veikoso was reportedly visiting his home in Kailua when the accident took place Friday.

ESPN reported that six men were at the site when a 15-foot retaining rock wall behind a home partially collapsed and trapped three of them, according to the Honolulu Fire Department.

Veikoso was reportedly pronounced dead on the scene after emergency personnel cleared the rubble. The two other trapped men were taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition, while a third injured man declined to be taken to a hospital.

The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) said it did not know what was happening at the wall, or if any work was being done on it when the accident occurred, Nexstar’s KHON reported.

A construction company had been on the scene, KHON reported. The acting fire chief for the HFD also said “heavy blue gravel and a lot of red dirt” were among the debris that needed to be removed by rescue teams.

The 22-year-old, a 6’7″, 305-pound offensive lineman, played in one game last season as a redshirt freshman after transferring from Arizona State over the summer.

He prepped at Kailua High School in Hawaii, and later served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manaus, Brazil, from 2018 to 2020. 

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake offered his condolences on Twitter Friday evening after speaking to Sione’s family:

“We are extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death of one of our brothers, Sione Veikoso. His passing is heartbreaking to all of us. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family as we share in their grief. Our love for you is forever, Sione!”

The BYU football program also released a statement:

“On behalf of the entire BYU Football family, our thoughts and prayers are with Sione’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. Rest in Love Sione. God be with you till we meet again.”

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