The death of 20-year-old University of Minnesota student Dylan Fulton was alcohol-related, according to the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office. Fulton, 20, was found dead at a fraternity house near the St. Paul campus on Wednesday, September 12.
In a statement given by Lori Hedican — the chief investigator at the medical examiner’s office — Fulton had been “drinking, vomited when he was passed out and choked to death.”
The medical examiner’s office ruled that Fulton’s official cause of death was probable asphyxia and possible positional asphyxia with aspiration.
Following Fulton’s death, the national organization of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity immediately suspended the University of Minnesota’s chapter.
Fulton, a sophomore from St. Lawrence, was an Animal Science major with an “emphasis in beef production” at the University of Minnesota. He was also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Furthermore, Fulton was a member of the university’s Gopher Dairy Club, a club focused on the dairy industry.
Fulton’s official cause of death was probable asphyxia and possible positional asphyxia with aspiration; other significant causes were found to be ethanol intoxication, said Hedican of the death certificate. The certificate was filed Tuesday after toxicology results came back. Information about Fulton’s blood-alcohol level was not available.
Fulton had a 4.0 GPA throughout his educational career, which he maintained at the University of Minnesota, where he made the dean’s list, his family said. He received a full scholarship to attend the U, where he was a sophomore.
After Fulton died, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler directed the Office for Student Affairs to help the leaders of Greek chapters “conduct a thoughtful and exhaustive safety review.” That work is underway and is being student-led, said Steve Henneberry, director of communications for the Office for Student Affairs.
The university is awaiting the results of the St. Paul police investigation to determine its next steps, which could be an investigation of its own, Henneberry said.
Alcohol and hazing-related deaths have become far too common of an occurrence in today’s fraternity culture.