Medical Examiner Rules Alcohol a Factor in Death of U of M Student

October 15, 2018 11:26 AM

A 20-year-old University of Minnesota student died after a night of drinking, according to the Medical Examiner's office.

Now, the U of M chapter of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity is suspended as a result of Dylan Fulton's death.

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Members of the fraternity are allowed to continue living in the house but they can't participate in Greek life.

RELATED: Medical Examiner: U of M Student Found Dead at Frat House, Cause was Asphyxia

The transcript of the 911 call details the moments when members of the frat discovered their brother on the morning of Sept. 12.

"One of our brothers is non-responsive..." says the caller.

The 911 operator then overhears the caller speaking to another brother.

"Was he drinking last night? Hey, was he drinking?" he says.

"Ok, we're not sure if he was drinking or not," he tells the operator.

More than four weeks following that call, the Medical Examiner has ruled the sophomore's death a suffocation after choking on vomit when he was asleep.

Alcohol was present in his system.

Dylan Fulton, 20, was from South Dakota and had chosen the U of M to study animal science.

His death has impacted student life throughout the school.

"The incident that happened sounds like it pertained to fraternity culture and alcohol and that's not good," said student Evan Smith.

"Everybody's talking about them," said Pedro Morales, another student on the St. Paul campus.

The Fulton family issued a statement on his loss:

"We, the family of Dylan Fulton, are experiencing extreme sadness. No one can ever be prepared for the loss of a child. You never think this could ever happen to a kid like Dylan, but it can and does. 

"Dylan had an infectious smile and personality who loved to make people laugh and had countless best friends. He had high standards for himself in everything he did, whether in school, work or play. He also had high expectations for his family and friends and encouraged all of them to be their best.  Dylan was involved in many clubs and activities in high school and college, often serving as an officer, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.  

"As we acknowledge the cause of his death, we hope to save another family from going through this tragedy.  Our Dylan isn't coming home.  Please talk to your kids and keep talking, because it can happen to ANYONE!!

"We are moving forward, as he would want, celebrating his life and treasuring our memories."Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult and challenging time."

Paul & Kayleen Fulton & family

Since Fulton's death, Greek leaders voted to adopt a new alcohol policy that went into effect at the end of September.

Any alcohol above 15 percent ABV is no longer allowed at Greek houses or events unless it's served by a third party.

"That just seems like a couple steps closer to being a more safe campus," said Smith, who encourages any change to help combat the binge drinking culture on college campuses.

RELATED: Police ID 20-Year-Old Found Dead at U of M Frat House

Terms of Alpha Gamma Rho's suspension include no alcohol permitted anywhere on the property. It's not known how long the chapter's suspension will last.

Despite the suspension, Alpha Gamma Rho CEO Rex Martin of  the national office says supports are still in place for those who live there writing in a statement, "The depths of their grief are unimaginable, and we will do anything we can to support them at this difficult time."

The U of M chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho was installed in 1917. There were 30 brothers within the chapter at the time of suspension.

Credits

Katherine Johnson

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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