CHP cadet from Ceres dies after falling ill in training session

A Ceres man training to be a highway patrol officer at the CHP academy in West Sacramento died Wednesday after falling ill during physical training last week.

Randy Atchison, 24, of Ceres, died at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, according to a CHP press release.

CHP spokeswoman Jaime Coffee said Atchinson was participating in the first physical fitness challenge of the 27-week training. The challenge lasted two hours and started with a half-hour of floor exercise, followed by 20 minutes of “dynamic stretching.” After a short break, cadets ran 1.8 miles.

Coffee said Atchinson completed all challenges but complained of feeling ill shortly after. He was taken by ambulance to Sutter General Hospital. He was transferred Saturday to Sutter Memorial Hospital, where he died at 1:29 a.m. Wednesday.

“On behalf of the CHP family, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Cadet Atchison’s family, friends and fellow Academy classmates,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Cadet Atchison was just beginning the road to becoming a CHP officer, which was his lifelong dream. He had a life full of promise ahead that was tragically cut short.”

A 2004 graduate of Ceres High School, Atchison was in a 124-member class that began training Oct. 25. On his Facebook page, Atchison made reference to a going-away party that was given to him. On Oct. 22, he wrote: "monday at 7:30 i am owned by the california highway patrol." It received four comments and three "likes".

Cadets undergo a thorough physical examination before entering the academy and are given tools to prepare for the training before enrolling, Coffee said.

Atchison is survived by his parents, James and Andrea; brothers Zachary and Chad; a sister, Alissa; his girlfriend, Kimberlee Andrada; and a 1-month-old daughter, Kaylee Atchison.

The CHP is working with the family on funeral arrangements.