Costa Mesa High School students plan to wash cars from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Harbor Trinity Church, 1230 Baker St. in Costa Mesa, to raise money to help the family of a student who collapsed on a handball and died pay for funeral expenses.
Eric Valdez, 14, went down while playing handball at 4:30 p.m. March 10 at the joint campus shared by the high school and middle school, where he was an eighth-grader.
Costa Mesa firefighters transported him to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach. Doctors could not revive him.
Valdez died of unexpected natural causes, but the exact cause is unknown, pending an autopsy.
Morgan Smith, the middle school principal, said the boy’s parents are having a hard time covering the funeral expenses.
“The community is hungry to help the family out,” Smith said. “It’s been a whirlwind around here lately. It’s been such a sad time because everybody loved Eric so much.”