A 16-year-old South Carolina boy who collapsed in a classroom had so much caffeine over a two-hour span that it killed him, a medical examiner said Monday.
Davis Allen Cripe died April 26 at Palmetto Health Parkridge Hospital after collapsing at Spring Hill High School. He drank a large diet soda, a latte and an energy drink in the two hours before he fell ill, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a press conference Monday.
Watts officially ruled the cause of death as a caffeine-induced cardiac event. He said Cripe had no family history that would have compounded the effects of caffeine and said the boy was otherwise healthy when he died.
"We lost Davis from a totally legal substance," Watts said. "It was so much caffeine at the time of his death that it caused his arrhythmia."
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The coroner said caffeinated drinks can be "very dangerous."
"I'm telling my friends and family: Don't drink them," he said.
Cripe's father, Sean Cripe, attended the press conference. He said he hoped his son's death would save other lives by exposing the potential dangers of excessive caffeine.