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Alcohol-Related Student Deaths-Fall 2014

Presented below is an unfortunate tabulation of alcohol related campus deaths reported in the media for the fall 2014 semester.  For every deceased student listed, at least three other college students are reported to have died, although the tragedy's connection to alcohol was unclear in media reports.

The information supplied for each victim is a tabulation of media reports. The circumstances and causes of the tragedies are summarized within the listing with more details contained in the associated link.

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Cody Petzold, 21, December 26, 2014, Oakland University More Information Cody lost his life after losing control of his vehicle and crashed.   Tests showed his blood/alcohol level to be .22.
Sandra J. Lommen, 20, December 10, 2014, Bemidji State University More Information Sandra lost her live after being found unconscious in the woods early on a frozen morning.  Sandra lost her way after leaving a party alone.  She fell into a creek through thin ice and crawled to shore but eventually fell unconscious in the woods.  Investigations are underway for those who supplied the alcohol at the gathering.
Troy Alan Kinser, 23, November 22, 2014, Tri-County Technical College More Information Troy lost his life in an automobile accident.  The Coroner reported that alcohol and speed were factors in the crash
Trevor Duffy, 19, November 16, 2014, University of Albany More Information Trevor lost his life after being rushed to the hospital after overdosing on alcohol at an off-campus party.  Four others students were treated and released from the same party which may have been a hazing event.
Nolan Michael Burch, 18, November 14, 2014, West Virginia University More Information Nolan lost his life after being found unresponsive in a fraternity house.  Police reported that there was evidence that Burch had consumed alcohol that night. It also was reported that others at the frat party “challenged” Nolan into drinking a large amount of alcohol.
Benjamin Burlock, 20, November 9, 2014, Tulane University More Information Benjamin lost his life when he fell of a balcony in a residence hall on campus.  According to the Tulane PD daily activity report stated the incident was classified as an alcohol offense and underage alcohol consumption.
Vaibhev Loomba, 20, November 9, 2014, University of California at Davis More Information Vaibhev lost his life at a fraternity party University of California at Berkeley.  The coroner’s office reported that he died from alcohol poisoning.
Melissa Kennon, November 7, 2014, San Diego State University More Information Melissa lost her life after falling about 50 feet from the roof of a building where she was reported to be drinking with a friend.
Joseph M. McGowan, 21, November 1, 2014, University of Wyoming More Information Joseph lost his life from injuries sustained in a fight that took place at an off-campus residence during a party. Media reports stated that alcohol likely fueled the altercation.
Zachary Bradley,20, October 31, 2014, University of California-Berkeley More Information Zachary lost his life after falling from apparatus behind a stage area at a concert.  He reportedly was intoxicated at the time of the fall.
Savannah Marie Piatt, 18, October 18, 2014, Oklahoma State University More Information Savannah lost her live when the truck in which she was riding crashed.  Police allege that the student driver was driving under the influence at the time of the crash.
Maury Lorence, 22,  October 12, 2014, Nebraska Wesleyan University More Information Maury lost his life after being struck by a vehicle while walking along an interstate highway.  Murray was on a “party bus” rented by another student but was separated from the bus after it stopped at a truck stop.  His blood alcohol level tested to be .245.
Michael Hartnett, 18, October 4, 2014, Central Michigan University More Information Michael lost his life after separating from friends who were together after a ruby game.   His body was found in a pond.  The medical examiner determined that he drowned while intoxicated.
Caitlyn Kovacs, 19, September 21, 2014, Rutgers University More Information Caitlyn lost her life after being brought to the hospital by her friends after being in distress while attending what was described as a small gathering at a fraternity house.  The medical examiner determined the cause to be alcohol poisoning.
Jose Ruiz, 25, September 20, 2014, University of New Mexico (Nonstudent struck by student driver DUI) More Information Jose lost his life while riding his bicycle and being struck by an intoxicated student.  The student driver was arrested on a homicide charge for driving while high on marijuana and alcohol.
William Gwathmey, 20, September 19, 2014, George Washington University More Information William lost his life after consuming a lethal mix of cocaine, oxycodone and alcohol. He was found unresponsive in an off-campus apartment.
Hannah Graham, 18, September 13, 2014, University of Virginia More Information Hannah lost her life by being abducted and murdered after leaving a party alone.  Hannah was missing for nearly a month before her body was found.  Hannah’s alleged murderer has been connected to another college student, Morgan Harrington, who was separated from her group and went missing, having also been abducted and murdered.  Both had left events involving drinking, thereby likely more vulnerable to abduction.
Clayton Real, 18, September 6, 2014, University of Nebraska-Lincoln More Information Clayton lost his life while attending a “frosh” party at a frat house where alcohol was served.  Clayton had Type I diabetes and had been seen drinking alcohol at the off-campus party. .His blood alcohol tested at .378.  Four students were arrested in connection with the party.
Michael Gatto, 18, August 28, 2014, Georgia Southern More Information
Michael lost his life as result of being beaten unconscious when assaulted by an intoxicated 20 year old in a bar near campus which was frequented by students.  While reports have not attributed Michael’s sad fate to his alcohol use and its effect on his actions is unknown, the incident caused the issue of underage and student drinking to be addressed by the college and surrounding community.
Dalton Debrick, 18, August  25, 2014, Texas Tech University More Information
Dalton lost his life after becoming unresponsive at an off-campus party.  The County Medical Examiner determined that acute alcohol intoxication caused his demise.
Jiayi Dai, 19, August 23, 2014, Michigan State University More Information Jiavi was found unresponsive after a night of drinking at a gathering of students in an apartment.   Her blood-alcohol level was tested to be 0.415 
Tucker Arnold, August 19, 2014, Texas Tech More Information Tucker lost his life in an automobile accident.  His blood alcohol content was .267 at the time of the accident.

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