RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — Caffeine caused the death of a 16-year-old student, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.
Watts held a news conference Monday to discuss the results of an investigation into the death of Davis Allen Cripe, whodied April 26 at Palmetto Health Parkridge Hospital after collapsing in a classroom.
Watts said Cripe drank a large diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonald's and an energy drink in the two-hour period before he collapsed.
"We lost Davis from a totally legal substance," Watts said. He said he determined Cripe died from a caffeine-induced cardiac event.
"It was so much caffeine at the time of his death, that it caused his arrhythmia," he said.
"These drinks can be very dangerous," Watts said. "I'm telling my friends and family, Don't drink them."
Cripe's father said he was a good son who would never touch alcohol or drugs and he hopes the teen's death will save other lives by showing the dangers of excessive caffeine.