Officials: Alcohol Caused Frat Pledge's Death
NORMAN, Okla. – A 19-year-old student whose body was found the morning after a party in a fraternity house died from alcohol poisoning, officials said Friday.
Blake Adam Hammontree had a blood alcohol level of 0.42 when he died, or five times the legal limit for drunken driving, said Kevin Rowland, chief investigator for the state medical examiner.
Hammontree was found Thursday morning in an upstairs living area of the Sigma Chi (search) fraternity house near the campus of the University of Oklahoma (search), said police spokeswoman Jennifer Newell.
A freshman, Hammontree was a Sigma Chi pledge who had been drinking at the house Wednesday night during a fraternity function, Rowland said.
University President David Boren has said he will shut down the fraternity's operations immediately and close the house within two weeks for the rest of the academic year.
"It is my duty as president to reaffirm clearly and forcefully that underage drinking and the violation of the university's rules and policies regarding the use of alcohol will not be tolerated," Boren said Thursday.
It was the third death in less than a month at a fraternity house.
About two weeks ago, Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr., 18, was found dead at the Chi Psi (search) fraternity house at the University of Colorado (search) following a party with fraternity brothers where wine, whiskey and beer were consumed. Investigators have not released a cause of death.
Also last month, Samantha Spady (search), 19, died at a Colorado State University (search) fraternity house with a blood-alcohol level of 0.436 percent.