Lowndes County High School student death ruled accidental

Parents and students leaving Lowndes County High School.

According to information released by the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, the death of Kendrick Johnson has been ruled as an accident as a result of positional asphyxia.Officials say that this was based on the findings of the investigation, physical evidence, forensic sciences and the autopsy.Officers said earlier in the investigation that they learned that Johnson went into the gymnasium and appears to have climbed on top of the mats which were standing upright. At some point Kendrick Johnson either reached into the center of one of the rolled mats or fell into the center opening of the mat and became lodged.The result of the findings were discussed Thursday morning in a conference call between Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine and his office, Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson, District Attorney J. David Miller, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and medical examiner Maryanne Gaffney-Kraft.Prine stated in the release that the investigation was very extensive and included the completion of multiple forensic tests, including DNA samples collected from the scene and the interview of over one hundred {100} persons, including students, teachers and other people who were identified as the investigation progressed.Prine says that nothing learned during the investigation has indicated anything other than this was a tragic accident. He also continues to express is sorrow for the family of Kendrick Johnson and hopes that with the release of the findings that they can find the answers they seek and begin the healing process.