Fraternity hazing: FSU fraternity pledge 'died alone in a room full of people' at party

Coffey, a prospective member of Pi Kappa Phi, was found unconscious and was declared dead at the night of the fraternity party weeks ago.


                            Fraternity hazing: FSU fraternity pledge 'died alone in a room full of people' at party

A fraternity pledge at the Florida State University (FSU), Andrew Coffey, died during a party with a room full of people. When a fellow fraternity pledge found out that Coffey had no pulse, instead of immediately calling 911, he called and texted five other members of the fraternity first, according to reports. 

Reports state that the phone call and texting resulted in a precious 11-minute delay in calling for help. A grand jury presentment on Tuesday said that even though those 11 minutes would not have saved Coffey's life, the delay is broadly representative of the fraternity culture in universities. 



Coffey, a prospective member of Pi Kappa Phi, was found unconscious and was declared dead at the night of the fraternity party weeks ago. 

"The brothers, pledges, and officers were more concerned about getting in trouble than they were about trying to save Coffey's life," the grand jury said, according to CNN.



According to an autopsy, Coffey reportedly died of alcohol poisoning and had a blood alcohol level of .447, which is more than five times the legal driving limit. The grand jury presentment stated that the tests of Coffey's other bodily fluids showed that his peak blood alcohol level had spiked to .558. 

Florida State University (Wikimedia Commons)

A Leon County grand jury presentment on Tuesday recommended that prosecutors pursue criminal charges against the members of the FSU fraternity. The grand jury presentment added that the fraternity had engaged in underage alcohol abuse and hazing linked with Coffey's demise. 



Officials at the FSU suspended all fraternity and sorority activity after Coffey's death, and the FSU President John Thrasher said he wanted to create "a new normal" for safe Greek life.



An active police investigation is ongoing in the case, reports state.

The grand jury in the presentment criticised "the culture of secrecy" of the fraternity and noted that there were "elements of conspiracy and obstructionism" in the case. 



Reports state most of the fraternity brothers who were present at the party refused to speak to the investigators  and those who did provide their testimony sounded "rehearsed." 

Florida State University students holding a candle vigil/ Representational Image (Getty Images)

"Their lack of accountability was illustrated by the lack of substance in their testimony, their demeanor while testifying, and the overall glib attitude of Andrew Coffey's so-called brothers towards this very serious matter," the grand jury in the presentment said. 



It added that Coffey was lying unconscious on a couch, while many of the fraternity members continued to drink, party and played pool around him, without knowing about his condition. The presentment also included a letter from Coffey's mother, which stated that he "died alone in a room full of people."



"The Pi Kappa Phi creed uses words like loyalty, responsibility, standards, conduct," Coffey's mother, Sandy, wrote in the letter. "Easy words to put down on paper. Obviously more difficult to live by."

Florida State University students holding candles (Getty Images)

Pi Kappa Phi's national organization released a statement saying that it was "saddened by the details in the grand jury presentment about the tragic death" of Coffey.

"Since originally learning of Andrew's death, Pi Kappa Phi has continued to direct the students at Florida State to cooperate with all investigative efforts," the statement said.



Coffey's case has shed light on fraternity hazing again, his case is similar to the deaths of another young students at various universities in America in recent years.

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