17-year-old baseball player dies of fentanyl poisoning in Woodland Hills

Classmates are mourning the death of a promising Woodland Hills student-athlete, who died of fentanyl poisoning last week.

El Camino Charter High School baseball player Cade Kitchen is being remembered as a kind, easygoing 17-year-old who was dedicated to his team. Even students that didn’t know him personally are devastated by the news, and cannot believe that the fentanyl crisis hit their community.

Parents are increasingly concerned.

"It’s heartbreaking for the family. It’s heartbreaking for the students, it’s a wake-up call," said Dean Messerman, whose son is a junior at the school.


Messerman says he’s considering homeschooling if that’s what it takes to keep his teen safe.

The circumstances surrounding the teen’s death have not been made public.

(FOX 11)

A letter sent to the school community read:

"It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our 17-year-old students passed away last night. This tragic incident was the result of a fatal Fentanyl overdose. As a father and a parent, I cannot fathom the loss of a child. My heart breaks to know that an El Camino student will not be with us tomorrow. On behalf of the El Camino Real community, our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. After the death of a friend, young people need more support and attention than usual from their parents and other adults. This is an especially difficult and emotional time for those who knew the student, the student's family or for students who have experienced recent trauma in their lives.

If you have questions or concerns about your child and feel s/he might need additional support, please contact the school at mail to:counseling@ecrchs.net. Please do not hesitate to further questions or need assistance. We have also included a link from Children's Hospital LA that you may find useful when talking to your children about death or traumatic loss and grief. You may also visit Department of Mental Health for Grief and Loss Resources."

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help the teen's family. Those looking to help can click here.