Results of an autopsy and toxicology study showed an overdose was to blame for a 23-year-old Division II national wrestling champion’s death last month, investigators said Wednesday.

Somerset County native Nick Roberts died of a fentanyl overdose, according to Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees.

The manner of death has been deemed accidental, he said.

Roberts was found unconscious Feb. 25 in his campus apartment at 189 Student Union Drive, and his sudden death shocked the wrestling community, UPJ classmates and friends, who held a candlelight memorial service for the standout athlete at the J. Irving Whalley Chapel two days later.

Roberts left his mark on the sport he loved, too.

He won three state scholastic wrestling titles for North Star High School before continuing his career at Ohio State University.

He qualified for the national championships as a redshirt freshman before transferring back to western Pennsylvania.

He enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh but transferred soon after to Pitt-Johnstown, where he captured a national title wrestling in the 133-pound weight class in 2016.

But chronic knee pain dogged Roberts at each step along the way, friends and family recalled last month.

A knee condition caused by a lack of blood flow underneath a joint’s cartilage was apparently to blame.

In November, Roberts suffered a knee injury that eliminated his chance for a second national title this winter, ending his career.

Roberts was honored just weeks before his death during the Mountain Cats wrestling team’s senior night at the Sports Center.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5053. Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.

Trending Video

Recommended for you