Bishop England grad dies after choking on pizza

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 2010 graduate of Bishop England High School died last weekend after a choking accident in a Wofford College dormitory.

Randall Heffron, a 20-year-old sophomore at Wofford College, died Friday. Family members say he was eating pizza with friends in the dorm and starting choking. He went to the bathroom, but when he didn't return his friends went to the bathroom and found him unresponsive.

Heffron was a 2010 graduate of Bishop England High School where he was a star player on the tennis team, but teachers also remember a hardworking student who was well-liked by classmates.

"Whenever anything like this happens it's a tragedy for their family, but for us too," said former Math teacher Kit Brownell. "Because we know our kids so well, it affects us all. Our prayers are with them at all times."

Ion club tennis director Joanne Lee fondly remembers the young man she coached from age 4 and into young adulthood.

"It's almost like losing a son because you're part of so many things that go on in their lives, whether it's tennis related or not," Lee said. "He was just so full of life."

Heffron's brother, Walker Heffron, says Randall Heffron had aspirations to continue playing tennis through college, major in biology and attend dental school.

"He'd be the one that went the extra mile," said former Physics teach John Holzworth. "It was clear he didn't have an interest that much in going on in physics but it was this core desire to be as good as he could be."

Heffron had only been at Wofford a year, but he was already well-liked at the school, his brother said Monday.

"He always tried to help them in their quest to be a good player," Lee said. "That to me is a person who gives back."

Lee says Heffron always volunteered to coach junior development players and with an inner city kid's tennis program.

Visitation for Heffron will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Saint Matthews Lutheran Church on King Street. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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