November 18, 2017

Student brought to hospital from university fraternity dies

17 September 2017, 05:07 | Elsie Buchanan

Courtesy The Advocate

Courtesy The Advocate

Maxwell Gruver, an 18-year-old freshman at the school, died Thursday after being taken to the hospital in the early hours of the morning.

A preliminary autopsy found that Gruver had a "highly elevated blood alcohol level plus the presence of THC in the urine", said a statement released Friday by the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office.

University spokesman Ernie Ballard said the teenager was brought to a Baton Rouge hospital by a private vehicle from the on-campus Phi Delta Theta fraternity house on Wednesday night. Comprehensive toxicology and histological testing will take another 4 weeks to complete, according to Clark.

Alexander added, "Hazing is unsafe, irresponsible and unacceptable and it will not be tolerated at LSU, period".

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King Alexander said police are investigating allegations that alcohol was a factor. The most notable was the death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, who died in February after an alcohol-related hazing incident at Pennsylvania State University's Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Alexander described Gruver's death as "tragic and untimely". Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity involved in the probe, has also been suspended by its national chapter.

A fraternity member was kicked out after being arrested for an alleged sexual assault not connected to any fraternity event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last October.

Alexander, who stresses that details of the case are still evolving, says that "pledging and all social activities on and off campus" have been suspended and that school authorities "are investigating this matter with the utmost seriousness".

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Phi Delta Theta officials at the headquarters in Oxford, Ohio, said they will be reviewing policies and procedures in the wake of the LSU tragedy.

"We mourn the loss, and the possible impact that he may have had on our region and the world", he said. "Our deepest sympathies and prayers go to his family and his friends".

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