Cause of death unknown in Hanford High student death

A cause of death has yet to be determined for a Hanford High School sophomore who died at Kadlec Regional Medical Center on Monday.

Benton County Coroner John Hansens said an autopsy was conducted Tuesday on Zach Schmidt. Hansens said his death was not the result of foul play, but he is waiting to declare a cause of death until after toxicology results are available in a few weeks.

Richland School District officials called some parents and sent out letters Tuesday notifying families of Zach’s death. The letter advised that teachers, counselors and other staff would be on hand to help students with their grieving and also included a list of tips on how parents can help their children cope with the loss.

“Zach is described as a sweet kid that was friendly with all the people he came in contact with and someone who had many friends here at school,” wrote Principal Tory Christensen in the letter. “We will truly miss him.”