Students react to preliminary autopsy results in death of LSU freshman

Students react to preliminary autopsy results in death of LSU freshman

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - As students on LSU's campus tried to cope with this week's tragedy, the Baton Rouge corner made public the preliminary findings of the autopsy done on LSU student Maxwell Gruver.

"It definitely hit hard because I mean, you know, people make not necessarily the best decisions," said student Codi Settoon on Friday.

Gruver died this week after being brought to a hospital from the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house. He was only 18 years old, a freshman and a pledge.

"Hospital tests that we receive historically from the hospital said that he had a high level of alcohol in his blood, so we'll confirm that toxicologically, so that we can really essentially take a look at what our final determination will be in the case," said coroner William "Beau" Clark.

He said the student's urine also had THC, a chemical found in marijuana.

Dr. Clark was asked whether, according to the preliminary findings, it looked like alcohol and drugs were involved in Gruver's death.

"Correct, but you know certainly we're not going to make that as a firm call until we have the opportunity to review the toxicology," he said.

But there were no signs of trauma.

"We did find signs of both cerebral and pulmonary edema, those are fancy medical terms for swelling of the brain or lungs which are oftentimes seen in the peri-mortem stage, meaning before, during death and after death as the body is deprived of oxygen. Sometimes when there's a depressant in the system, for example alcohol is a depressant, so as the system starts to slow down, those organs are deprived of oxygen so they swell," the coroner continued.

Police are investigating to determine whether the student's death was a result of hazing.

"You have to take into consideration the person's alcohol history. Now with a young person 18 years old, they certainly have not been, had a life of drinking, but we see elevated alcohol levels with people later in life that they're able to manage better because they've had a life of alcoholism. But in this circumstance, sometimes it doesn't take very much," Clark said.

No one answered at the frat house, but other students had strong opinions.

"It's not entirely surprising considering this campus and how unregulated the drinking is, but it's not much you can do about it.when you're just a student," said Priscilla Cook.

"When you hear about it happening, it could have been you instead of somebody else," said student Marcy Waters.

Students have mixed opinions on whether the university's leaders took the right step in suspending all Greek activities on and off campus.

"I think it's going to help a lot to solidify the idea that a lot of these things aren't okay. They are crossing a line, and LSU is going to put their foot down," Settoon said.

"I think it should have been more isolated, the consequences-wise, because not all sororities or Greeks are bad or anything," said Cook.

"Until they find out what happened, it was the best decision. We've just got to trust in leadership of the university," said Angel Davila.

"We will know exactly what his body had in it once we do this toxicology," said the coroner.

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