ALBURGH, Vt. – A scuffle broke out among spectators at a middle school basketball game in northern Vermont, and a 60-year-old man who took part in the fight died, police said.
State Police officers were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center just before 7pm on Tuesday after a large fight involving spectators was reported during a basketball game for seventh and eighth grade boys between Alburgh and St Albans.
The fight ended before the troops arrived and many of the participants had left. Russell Giroux, of Alburgh, was seeking medical attention, police said. He was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Medical Center in St Albans, where he was pronounced dead.
Jay Nichols, the executive director of the Vermont Principals’ Association, said in a statement that the group, which oversees school athletics in the state, had no information about the event beyond what was provided by the authorities.
“Although we cannot speak specifically about the events of this single game, we would like to reiterate that junior high and high school sports are educational and benefit student athletes,” he said. “Spectators who do not behave appropriately can be excluded from events and face criminal charges.”
The superintendent of the Grand Isle Supervisory Union, which includes Alburgh, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
The Grand Isle State Police and Attorney’s Office are investigating Giroux’s death. The regional court is conducting an autopsy.
Alburgh is a town of approximately 2,100 people in northwest Vermont. It is surrounded on three sides by Lake Champlain. The northern part of the municipality forms part of the border with Canada.