Questions surround death of Hartsville football player

Ronald Rouse (center) with his fellow teammates in 2011.

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WPDE) - The death of an 18-year-old Hartsville High School football player has some questioning why the sequence of events happened the way they did.

From tweets during the game and video recordings, this timeline has been created to show the approximate times as certain parts of the situation unfolded.

-8:15 p.m., 335 pound 6'3" senior defensive lineman Ronald Rouse calls timeout and collapses on the field.

-8:16 p.m., trainers and doctors take Rouse's shoulder pads off, revive Rouse who even talks to his father as he lies near the 45 yard line.

-8:19 p.m., Rouse walks off the field with the assistance of trainers and tells fellow teammates he is fine; game resumes.

-8:20 p.m., Rouse collapses again on the sidelines; game continues.

-8:22 p.m., four doctors and two certified athletic trainers perform CPR on Rouse; game continues.

-8:25 p.m., medical staff uses defibrillator to try to revive Rouse's heart; game suspended with 3:39 left in the second quarter.

-8:26 p.m., firefighters arrive at Kelleytown Stadium.

-8:27 p.m., EMS arrives at Kelleytown Stadium.

-8:29 p.m., EMS takes Rouse to Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center.

-8:45 p.m., Rouse pronounced dead at hospital, according to Darlington County Coroner J. Todd Hardee. No announcement of his death at the stadium.

-9:00 p.m., game resumes and teams play remaining 3:39 of second quarter.

-9:52 p.m., announcer tells crowd "due to the seriousness of the player, we are suspending the game."

On Saturday, questions remained for some who watched Rouse lying on the sideline.

"It was really a concern that why did it take so long for the ambulance to get there," said Hartsville resident and former Red Fox football player Gregory Thompson Jr. "That's when I had a little doubt in my mind, like where is the ambulance?"

"Everybody in the stands were really confused. Everybody was questioning, where's the ambulance? Where's the ambulance...Everybody knows that the ambulance is always there before the game starts," said Robby Baker of Hartsville who is also a former player. "A lot of people were upset about how long it took to get there. It felt like it took forever."

According to Darlington County School District spokesperson Audrey Childers, the district is not required by state law or the South Carolina High School League to have an ambulance at football games.

But Childers did say the district has an agreement with the Lake Robinson Rescue Squad to be at all of Hartsville's home games, but Friday night the rescue squad was not there.

A rescue squad director would not comment as to why the ambulance was not on scene and said the agency is seeking legal counsel.

Having the game resume was something that disturbed both Thompson and Baker.

"Why couldn't we just wait until we had more hard facts?" said Thompson.

"Everybody from the stands was watching Ronald. I was watching Ronald, but could not help the fact to see that the game was being played," said Baker. "Something that dramatic, the game should have stopped in my personal opinion. But a lot of people were upset that the game was still continuing to play."

"I don't think anyone could have predicted this or anyone could have done much more," said Baker. "Besides the ambulance being there on scene, I don't think much more could have been done. He was in good hands on the field while he was there."