WESTLAKE, Texas – The City of Westlake and beyond is mourning the loss of a pillar of the community there.
Ross Ehlinger, 46, an attorney and married father of three is believed to have died of a heart attack one minute into the water during the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco Sunday.
“We both jumped off, both at the exact same time and that was the last I got to see him,” said Lance Thompson, Ehlinger’s friend and training buddy for 12 years.
The event was held two to three months earlier than usual in San Francisco. There’s now a question as to what role, if any, the chilly water may have played.
“It was definitely colder. I think it was around 50, 51 degrees,” Thompson said.
Ehlinger was heavily involved in the Westlake Pop Warner Football and Baseball leagues.
“There's not one child in this area that doesn't know him or hasn't met him,” said Thompson.
“We'd show up to practice and he'd have a truck with eight or nine kids just jammed in there. He was the one that picked them all up. He was the one that took them all back,” said Jason Nassour, a fellow attorney, friend and coach.
“He doesn't want anybody to feel sorry for him or anything like that. This is exactly what he'd probably say. He'd probably say go hug your child.Go out in front and throw the baseball or football. You know be a part of their lives. That would bring more joy to him than anything else in this world,” Thompson added.
An autopsy on Ehlinger is pending.