An autopsy found that an 18-year-old LSU student who died Thursday in a possible fraternity hazing incident had a “highly elevated” blood alcohol level.
The university has suspended “all Greek activities” pending the outcome of the police investigation of Maxwell Gruver’s death. Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity involved in the probe, has also been suspended by its national chapter.
“In the middle of football season, that’s gonna be detrimental to everything, but if we can’t stop hazing, what else is there to do?” student Sean Tran told WAFB.
“As we have continually warned over and over again, hazing is dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at LSU. Period,” LSU President F. King Alexander said.
Alexander said he wasn’t aware of any arrests made in connection with the freshman’s death. He said police are investigating allegations that alcohol was a factor.
Preliminary autopsy results found no internal or external trauma, but did find “marked cerebral and pulmonary edema,” or swelling in his brain and lungs.
Hospital tests detected the presence of marijuana, according to a statement from East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark’s office.
Gruver, from Roswell, Ga., passed away after he was taken to a Baton Rouge hospital to be treated for an unspecified “medical emergency,” according to university spokesman Ernie Ballard. He was taken to the hospital by another fraternity member, according to reports.
A house mom lives at the fraternity, according to CNN, but it is not known if she was present around the time of the teen’s death.
“This is an evolving situation,” Alexander told CNN. “We are investigating the matter with the utmost seriousness.”
Phi Delta Theta called the death “heartbreaking” and said it will decide on disciplinary action after the investigation is complete.
“We’re committed to investigating this situation thoroughly. The chapter and any individuals who are found to have violated our policies will be held accountable,” Executive Vice President and CEO Bob Biggs said.
Earlier this year, a 19-year-old Penn State pledge died during an alcohol-related hazing tragedy. Fourteen students are facing criminal charges in connection to Tim Piazza’s death.
With News Wire Services