LITTLETON, Colo. -- A gifted young musician with a severe peanut allergy died after reportedly ingesting peanut butter by accident.
Friends and family of Simon Katz said the 16-year-old attended a homecoming bonfire at Chatfield High School on Monday night, where he accidentally ate a s’more made with a peanut butter cup.
According to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, Katz left the bonfire not feeling well. His parents later rushed him to a hospital as he went into anaphylactic shock. He died a short time later despite multiple efforts to revive him.
A Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman said it is looking into the incident. It said food was available from several vendors at the bonfire. It said there was staff on hand with medical training but nobody at the event was notified Katz was having any difficulty.
Brandon Morris played with Katz while the two were enrolled at The School of Rock, Denver. He said everyone knew Katz was a natural on stage, and he said everyone also knew he was severely allergic to peanuts.
"Most of the kids knew,” Morris said. “So we kind of tried as much as we could to kind of keep that away from him so that he didn't really have to deal with that issue as much."
It's why Morris said he was shocked to hear how his friend died.
"To find out that it was something that was almost, not avoidable, but was something that could have been prevented, almost was kind of shocking," Morris said. "Depressing almost to kind of think about what he could have achieved when he was doing so much and such a bright, happy person at such a young age."
The coroner's office said it will take up to a month for toxicology reports to confirm Simon's cause of death. The school district said students will wear ribbons in his honor on Friday and a moment of silence is planned at the homecoming game.