SEATTLE, Wash. -- The family of a late Washington State University student is spreading the message not to mix energy drinks with alcohol.
Kenneth Hummel, 18, was found unconscious in Stephenson Hall early Sunday after a night of drinking.
An autopsy report showed Hummel died of alcohol poisoning which led to respiratory failure.
Hummel’s family said in a Seattle press conference Wednesday, the teenager had been mixing alcohol and 5 Hour Energy drinks the night he died. Instead of passing out from drinking too much liquor, Hummel’s family believed the energy drink kept him awake, which kept him drinking.
According to the Witman County Office of the Coroner Hummel died from ethanol poisoning. Hummel’s blood alcohol level exceeded .40. A person is considered legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .08.
The manner of death was ruled accidental.
"The information in the coroner’s report is sad and disturbing,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “It also is a dramatic incentive for us to re-double our already extensive efforts in student education about alcohol use and abuse. To that end, we have formed a special task force to focus new strategies and tactics on addressing a variety of student alcohol issues."