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Community grieves loss of Ceres CHP cadet, 24
The Ceres community is mourning, with friends and family members, the Nov. 3 death of Randy Atchison of Ceres, the 24-year-old California Highway Patrol cadet who died after physical conditioning.

Atchison, a 2004 graduate of Ceres High School, was stricken Oct. 29 during physical conditioning during his first week of training at the CHP academy facility in West Sacramento. He died five days later at a Sacramento hospital.

Results of an autopsy will not be available for weeks but Atchison's father, James Atchison, said his son had been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis and severe dehydration.

A church service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday at St. Jude's Catholic Church, 3824 Mitchell Road, Ceres, with burial to follow at Lakewood Memorial Park.

Since he was young, Atchison wanted to go into law enforcement, especially after taking the criminal justice class at Ceres High School and being encouraged by teacher Randy Cerny. Upon graduation from Ceres High School in 2004, Randy became a Modesto Police explorer scout.

On Oct. 25 he started the 27-week training cycle as one of 124 cadets and was engaged in the conditioning, which included a half hour of floor exercising, 20 minutes of dynamic stretching, a short break and a 1.8-mile run. Atchison finished the conditioning but reported feeling ill. He was transported to the hospital. His family expected his quick recovery and noted that Randy was looking forward to coming home to see his newborn daughter, Kaylee Lynn Atchison, born Oct. 4.

A spokeswoman for the CHP said Atchison's death was the second in the academy's 81-year history.

He leaves behind his daughter, Kaylee; his parents, Andrea and James Atchison; two brothers, Zachary Atchison and Chad Atchison; his sister, Alissa; and his girlfriend, Kimberlee Andrada.

Gov. Schwarzenegger issued the following statement on Thursday about Atchison's death: "Maria and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of California Highway Patrol Cadet Randy Atchison. He answered a noble calling and was beginning the journey of a lifetime. The loss of this young life is truly a tragedy. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Randy's family, friends and fellow cadets during this difficult time."

Remembrances may be sent to the trust account for Kaylee Lynn Atchison at the C.A.H.P. Credit Union, 2843 Manlove Rd., Sacramento, CA 95826.