University of Minnesota student had alcohol in his system, died of accidental asphyxiation

October 12, 2018

The University of Minnesota student who was found dead in his fraternity house in September had alcohol in his system and died from accidental asphyxiation, according to the medical examiners office.

Dylan Fulton, of Miller, S.D., was found by a roommate on Sept. 12 about 4:54 a.m. in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house near the St. Paul campus. He was last seen alive between 1-1:30 a.m. that morning.

Ramsey County Medical Examiner Lori Hedican said Friday that Fulton, a 20-year-old sophomore, died of probable asphyxia and possible positional asphyxia with aspiration. Other significant causes included alcohol intoxication, she said.

His death was ruled an accident.

Autopsy results showed that stomach contents were found in Fultons airway and that he had breathed some into his lungs, Hedican said.

Fulton was listed as an animal science major with an emphasis in beef production. He was also a member of the universitys Gopher Dairy Club, which promotes the dairy industry.

Fraternity members who were home at the time reported Fultons death to authorities and cooperated with the investigation. St. Paul police said there were no signs of foul play, hazing or initiation practices.

At the monthly meeting of the Us governing board Friday, President Eric Kaler told regents that the universitys Interfraternity Council had agreed at his urging to ban hard liquor at Twin Cities parties and other events, unless the alcohol is provided by a third-party vendor.

The administration pressed for the ban in the days following Fultons death, enlisting help from alumni to make its case. The prohibition recently went into effect about a year before such a ban by the North-American Interfraternity Conference is slated to take effect nationally.

We set some expectations for this group, and our students stepped up, Kaler said. There is nothing more important than the safety of our students.

Alpha Gamma Ro describes itself as the premier social and professional food, agricultural and natural resource sciences fraternity at the University.

The fraternitys national office said it suspended the chapter on Sept. 12. Several conditions were imposed on the chapter: all chapter operations were suspended, chapter members were suspended from regular activity, no alcohol is allowed in the chapter house or property and the suspension will not be lifted without all members cooperation.

Alpha Gamma Rho has pledged its full and complete cooperation to resolve this situation and any resulting actions or discipline, said a statement by Rex Martin, CEO of the national office. The Fraternity is dedicated to create an environment at Lambda Chapter conducive to fulfilling our purpose.

Staff writer Mila Koumpilova contributed to this report.

Chao Xiong 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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