He'd have to have a pretty severe case to cause death in that short amount of time. My guess would be that there were other factors in play. The article doesn't state the official cause of death from the Medical Examiner.
My younger daughter is asthmatic and is 8 years old, she has 2 inhalers that are kept at the school nurses office. The reasoning behind it is that kids will often allow others to try it. Albuterol Sulfate is a heavy steroid, and it winds her up like someone that just finished a few lines when she has to take it. None of her teachers have ever questioned or held her up if she tells them that she needed to go to the nurse, but we also inform all of her teachers at the beginning of each school year of her condition.