continuing into death of USU student
November 24, 2008 | Tragedy struck Utah State University
early Friday when police responded to a 911 call at
the Sigma Nu fraternity, at 800 East and 700 North.
An 18-year-old freshman, Michael Starks, was found unresponsive
at the scene and was later pronounced dead at Logan
Medical personnel arrived shortly after 4 a.m. and
immediately took over CPR efforts that had been started
by a friend on the scene, said Capt. Jeff Curtis of
the Logan City Police Department.
Starks was reported to have been involved in an initiation
ceremony to become a member of the fraternity's Epsilon
Upsilon chapter during the night of the incident.
"He was transported to a house down in the central
part of Logan, some alcohol was consumed down there
at the house and then he was brought back up to the
frat house where he later stopped breathing and we were
called," Curtis said.
Though the official cause of death is still under
investigation, it is believed that alcohol poisoning
is the reason.
Curtis could not confirm the cause of death as he
was still waiting for the results of the medical examiners
report, but he did say that the victim had a "very high"
blood alcohol level at the time of death.
"There's still several people we want to interview,
need to interview and we're in the process of meeting,"
Curtis said. "We're waiting for the ME's office to get
us a report which confirms the cause of death.
USU Vice President of Student Services Gary Chambers
said this incident is the first of its kind at Utah
"Our frequency of these kinds of problems is very,
very small," said Chambers. "But we do disseminate a
lot of information to students pertaining to being wise
and being safe in many of their dealings, whether it
be alcohol or other areas."
Brad Beachum, executive director of Sigma Nu Fraternity
Inc., said all activities at the USU chapter have been
suspended by the fraternity.
Starks was a resident of Salt Lake City and lived
in the Mountain View towers while attending USU.
"We will be meeting with the Cache County Attorney's
office Monday to look into what direction we're going
to go with this," Curtis said.