22-year-old man dies in freak weight-lifting accident

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DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) -- A Des Moines man is dead after a weight-lifting accident at a metro gym.

According to the Elite Edge Transformation Center in Ankeny, 22-year-old Kyle Thomson was bench pressing, when the weights slipped from his grip on Monday morning.

Thomson was taken to the hospital where he later died from severe internal injuries.

"This is a difficult and painful time, and our thoughts are with the member's family. Grief counselors are meeting with staff and gym members over the next couple of days. We would ask that you keep his family in your prayers," says Joe Brammer, owner of Elite Edge Transformation Center.

Greg Schoon, Thomson's high school weight lifting coach is shocked by the news. "He was a big kid but he was slimming down. He looked great. He knew what he was doing. It was just a freak accident."

Schoon says he was told his former East High School student was bench pressing around 315 pounds at the time of the accident. Schoon questions how the accident could have happened, although the owner of the gym says there were spotters present.

"If you've got your spotter, they are there to help prevent things like this," says Schoon. The high school instructor and coach has been with the Des Moines Community School District for 13 years and always stresses weight lifting safety to his students.

Thomson was known as a big kid with an ever bigger heart and described as a quiet leader on the field. He was captain of the football team and selected as MVP during the baseball season of his senior year.

"He was an all-around good kid, great athlete, good kid in school and the community. It's a tough loss to comprehend," Schoon says.

Dozens of former players and classmates of Thomson are posting to his Facebook page, and Schoon is encouraging them not to dwell on his death.

"Just hold your heads high celebrate all the good things about Kyle--which are many--and just treasure the memories."

Schoon hopes the East High School Athletic Department can somehow honor Thomson in the future.

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