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Death at a softball field draws questions
Player, 28, collapsed and died during game
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Jake Oltman

Preliminary autopsy results were inconclusive Tuesday as to why a seemingly healthy 28-year-old man collapsed and died during a softball game in Gainesville last weekend.

Jake Oltman of Newnan was running from first to second base during a game Saturday afternoon at the Lanier Point softball facility when he collapsed, authorities said.

He died at the scene after his wife tried to resuscitate him on the field with CPR.

Oltman’s father, Roger Oltman, said an autopsy showed no signs of anything wrong with his son’s organs.  

Toxicology and histology results remain pending.

“We’re just at a loss,” Roger Oltman said by phone from the family’s home in Grand Mound, Iowa, where Jake Oltman’s body was returned for burial.

“He was healthy and active and then just, boom.”

Jake Oltman was in Gainesville to play for Team Supremacy, a team in the Independent Softball Association’s Georgia chapter.

Several members of the association had kind words for Oltman on the league’s Internet message board.

“He was a great man,” said one anonymous poster.  

“He was an extremely talented ball player and an even better person. He played three tournaments with us, and everyone that played with him took a liking to him immediately.”

The league is raising money in Oltman’s name. His wife has requested enough money be raised that an automated external defibrillator can be donated for use at league events, according to the Web site.

Oltman’s father said his son worked as an aeronautical engineer in Newnan.

Oltman married his wife, Kerri, last July. He grew up in Iowa, where he was active in sports, playing high school baseball and quarterback for his high school football team.

“If it had a ball, he loved it,” his father said.

Oltman earned a degree in physics from University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

He and his wife, whom he met in college, moved to Georgia for his job.

Oltman’s father said his son’s organs were donated.

“Hopefully someone will get some good out of this,” he said.

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