There aren't too many details on just how 16-year-old Justin Butler got entangled in his Bowflex exercise machine, but we do know that the incident, unfortunately, led to his death. Update: There are now further details in this sad story.
Authorities did reveal that they don't believe this to be a case of intentional self-harm. Instead it's simply a very tragic accident which ended with Butler's parents finding their son in a terrible condition and the young man dying in a hospital the next day. [CBS 13 via Adrian Covert]
Update: After the initial and vague news release from the Nevada County Sheriff's department was posted, Butler's uncle, Bill Buus, chose to speak out about the incident and shed more light on the death.
According to Buus, the tragedy was the result of a choking game. Such "games" are intended to produce a natural high of sorts and usually something we hear about only in the occasional sensational news stories intended to frighten parents, but a report in the Sacramento Bee reveals how they led to Butler's death:
Buus said his nephew was playing the "choking game." The CDC reports that in such an activity young people either choke each other or use a noose to choke themselves.
Butler's parents have since discovered that other teens in the community are also playing the game that led to their son's death, Buss said.
The CDC reports that participants either pass out, which can lead to serious injury, or die from hanging or strangulation.
Buss confirmed that the teen choked himself by using a strap anchored on a piece of exercise equipment. He said the strap was part of the exercise apparatus.
Please understand that this additional information came from Butler's family in an attempt to raise awareness of what occurred and to perhaps save another child's life. The decision to do this while mourning Butler's death must've been difficult and I hope that you show the appropriate respect in the comments. [Sacbee]