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Officials: Death of San Diego State student was accidental

Posted at 3:36 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 06:36:30-05

The death of a college freshman in California who was hospitalized after attending a fraternity party was accidental, a medical examiner ruled Tuesday.

Dylan Hernandez, 19, suffered injuries to his head when he fell from his bunk bed in the dorm at San Diego State University, authorities said. A toxicology report is pending.

Hernandez’s roommate helped put him back into his bunk after the fall early Thursday but later that morning found him unresponsive and called 911, according to the report by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office.

School officials said Hernandez had gone to the party Wednesday night. University police were investigating the circumstances.

The Daily Aztec reported that Hernandez was pledging to the Phi Gamma fraternity.

It was among 14 fraternities suspended indefinitely following his hospitalization. The university said the decision was made “given the severity of this incident, and as the safety and wellbeing of students is a primary concern of the university.”

University president Adela de la Torre noted that all but three of the 14 Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations were already under suspension or investigation before Hernandez died.

Evidence for a suspension can include discrimination, disorderly behavior, alcohol being served at sponsored events, drug use, lack of insurance at a major event, and other violations of the student code. The university said de la Torre factored that information into her decision.

In an email to students, faculty and staff, de la Torre said the university was forming two task forces to review fraternity and sorority life and the use of alcohol and drugs on campus.

The task forces will include students, faculty and others and present findings before the end of next summer.

“This is part of a larger issue facing college and university campuses nationwide and we want to ensure SDSU is leading the conversation regarding student safety and well-being,” she wrote. “To do that, we are launching this process to identify and adopt best practices for the benefit of all of us.”