Menifee: Paloma Valley Freshman Collapses & Dies During ROTC Practice Friday

A Paloma Valley High School freshman student collapsed Friday, during an ROTC practice. The student was identified as Jake Drost. School staff members performed CPR on Drost and emergency services were called to the campus to attend to the student’s medical needs. He was taken to a local hospital where he passed away.

Drost was born without the ventricle that moves blood from the heart to the lungs to be resupplied with oxygen. He had several heart surgeries over the years.

Jake came from a Military family. His father was a Marine, and one brother is currently serving. Another brother is in the Army. Even though his heart condition would keep him out of the military, Jake embraced the ROTC program.

Students erected a memorial for Jake at the flagpole near the Paloma Valley High football field. The football team had JD emblazoned on their helmets in honor of there fallen friend. The Arlington Lions came out to the Midfield Coin Toss with a banner before a moment of silence was observed in Jake’s honor before the game.

The school district is providing counselors to students and staff to deal with their grief.

Photos by Jennifer Hauser