BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz, a 2019 graduate of Buckeye Valley High School, died from alcohol poisoning.
According to the Lucas County coroner’s report, the cause of death was fatal ethanol intoxication during an alleged hazing incident.
Rex Elliott, partner with Columbus-based Cooper Elliott, supplied the report to the Sentinel-Tribune on Wednesday.
The report said the manner of death was accidental, caused by a college fraternity induction ritual.
His blood alcohol content when he arrived at Toledo Hospital was 0.394, according to Elliott, whose law firm is representing the Foltz family of Delaware.
Foltz, 20, died March 7, three days after the March 4 alleged hazing incident that reportedly occurred off campus. His autopsy was performed March 10.
Foltz’s toxicology screen was clean, meaning he had not ingested any drugs, Elliott said.
He was an organ donor, with his heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, a portion of his spleen and corneas given to others.
Elliott said the family believes that the students involved with Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity, who were involved in the hazing, should be expelled and he expects criminal charges to be filed against the fraternity.
“The Lucas County coroner’s autopsy report provides valuable information regarding the cause of Stone Foltz’s death. Without question, he died as a result of a college fraternity induction ritual,” the law firm stated.
“The statement that his death was accidental — without any witness interviews or evidence about Stone being forced to drink an entire handle of whiskey — has no value and doesn’t impact anything criminally. Stone’s death at the hands of fraternity members hazing him and other pledges was both deliberate and reckless, and we will not stop until justice is done and this type of behavior never occurs again on a college campus in this country.”
Elliott said legal action is pending.
“We believe there will be a civil lawsuit against the international fraternity as well as the kids involved in this incident,” he said.
His firm also has talked to state legislators.
“It is our view that every university in the state of Ohio immediately shut down fraternities until they demonstrate they can be positive influences on campus and stop hazing,” Elliott said.
Colleges and universities also should implement a zero-hazing policy. If one hazing incident is reported that fraternity should be banished from that campus forever, he said.
“We have to do something to stop what happened to Stone Foltz,” Elliott said.
Alex Solis, deputy chief of staff and BGSU spokesperson, said that the fraternity hearing process is continuing.
“Bowling Green State University’s meeting with Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity occurred Tuesday. The fraternity declined to move forward with a hearing. More information will be available later this week,” Solis said in a statement.
Last week, BGSU charged the fraternity with six violations of the student conduct code.
A summation of the charges stated that the fraternity members provided individual bottles of alcohol to new members and encouraged them to consume the entirety of the contents, about 40 shots.
New members were reportedly blindfolded and led into a basement while being yelled at and pushed in an effort to disorient them.
The investigation by the Bowling Green Police Division is ongoing, said Lt. Dan Mancuso on Wednesday.
He said once detectives get the report, it will be reviewed to determine whether to present it to the county prosecutor.