Delray soccer star, co-valedictorian dies after accident - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Delray soccer star, co-valedictorian dies after accident

Photo Courtesy of: Ray Graham Photo Courtesy of: Ray Graham

DELRAY BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A high school soccer star, who was also co-valedictorian, passed away Monday, an American Heritage employee said.

Melissa Bergstein, American Heritage's co-valedictorian, had been at Delray Medical Center in the trauma unit in critical condition since the early Sunday morning accident, the school's headmaster Robert Stone said.

Her boyfriend, Mateo Londono, also an American Heritage senior is at the hospital too, but with less serious injuries, Stone said.

Monday morning, a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokesman could not confirm that Bergstein was involved in the accident that happened at Lantana Road and Woodland Creek Lane in Lake Worth.

Stone said, however, that Londono was apparently driving the car when the accident happened shortly after midnight. He said he was told that the car sustained major damage from hitting a tree.

"She's a fabulous, fabulous girl," Stone said of 18-year-old Bergstein. "She's one of our very best students in the entire school."

Bergstein was the captain and star of the school's girls' varsity soccer team. She did not play this year though due to a chronic back injury.

In 2009, Bergstein was named All-American player by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Londono, an honor student, had just qualified Saturday for the state wrestling championship, Stone said.

He said Londono's injuries were serious, but didn't think they were critical.

The school is offering grief counseling for the students through the guidance department Monday.

Stone said earlier that the students were asked to attend classes instead of going to the hospital like they did Sunday, because of an overwhelming number of friends who came to visit her.

"She has so many friends, not just from our school but through soccer," said one student.

Bergstein is also a player on Team Boca, a soccer association in Boca Raton.

Bill D'Addio, the Team Boca's club director, said Bergstein had been playing for the team since she was 9 years old .

In the past, Bergstein played defender for the team and planned on attending the University of Colorado, D'Addio said.

She chose the school for academics, he said, but had hoped to play soccer for the university if her back injury got better.

"She's just an outstanding kid," he said earlier today. "It's tragic. Our whole Team Boca family is in shock."

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