Coroner: Caffeine Overdose Kills South Carolina Teen

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A caffeine overdose killed a South Carolina teenager, the Richland County coroner said Monday.

Davis Allen Cripe, 16, collapsed at Spring Hill High School on April 26 and later died at a hospital.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said the the high school student had consumed multiple caffeinated drinks that day, including a large diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte and some kind of energy drink, our affiliate WLTX in Columbia, S.C., reports.

“We lost Davis from a totally legal substance,” said Watts, adding that the boy was a model student and was not addicted to caffeine, but rather he had some kind of heart condition.

“[Cripe] was totally against drugs; he was totally against alcohol,” Watts added. “He didn’t do any of that.”

Watts said the boy was doing something he thought was totally harmless, but an excessive amount of caffeine can be extremely dangerous.

“This is what’s dangerous about this,” the medical examiner said. “You can have five people line up, and all of them do the exact same thing with him that day, drink more; it may not have any type of effect on them at all. It’s not something that just because you drink one drink or three drinks is necessarily going to have this effect.”

“Davis was a great kid, and being his parent was a great honor to Heidi [his mother] and me,” said the boy’s father Sean Cripe said.

He also urged people to avoid highly caffeinated drinks.

“I stand before you as a brokenhearted father and hope that something good can come from this,” Cripe said. “Parents, please, talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks. And teenagers and students, please stop buying them. There’s no reason to consume them. They can be very dangerous.”

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