Fraternity member died 4 hours before 911 call, coroner says

Fourth fraternity-related death in 1 month

A Washington State University fraternity member died four hours before the first 911 call reported his condition on Nov. 12, according to the Whitman County Coroner’s Office. The coroner is investigating the death of 19-year-old Sam Martinez of Bellevue, Washington.

Coroner Annie Pillers says Martinez died at the Alpha Tau Omega house about 4:30 a.m. The Spokesman-Review says authorities received the first 911 call about 8:30 a.m.

Investigators have said they suspect alcohol played a role in the student’s death and have no indication that other substances were involved.

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Pullman police say they do not believe hazing was involved. The university has temporarily stripped the fraternity of its recognition while it investigates the death.

Martinez’s death marked the fourth college campus death in the United States in the past month.  It came days after 14 fraternities were suspended at San Diego State University, which followed the death of 19-year-old freshman Dylan Hernandez who fell out of his bunk bed in his dorm room and hit his head late last week. Several students say Hernandez had been drinking heavily at a fraternity party.

In October, Penn State suspended the Chi Phi fraternity as it investigates the death of a 17-year-old who was at an off-campus house allegedly occupied by frat members. Weeks later, Cornell University in New York decried a “pattern of misconduct” after the death of a student who earlier attended a fraternity event.

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