A 16-year-old boy in South Carolina who collapsed and died during class last month drank too much caffeine in too little time, a coroner’s report says.
As CNN reports, Davis Allen Cripe passed away from a caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia last month, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts announced in a news conference on Monday.
In a two-hour period, Cripe reportedly consumed three caffeinated beverages, including a café latte, an energy, and a Diet Mountain Dew soda.
That same day, on April 26, Cripe collapsed in his classroom at Spring Hill High School.
The teen’s father, Sean Cripe, spoke at the news conference on Monday after learning the shocking news about his son’s tragic death.
"Like all parents, we worry about our kids as they grow up. We worry about their safety, their health, especially once they start driving. But it wasn't a car crash that took his life. Instead, it was an energy drink," Sean Cripe said at the news conference.
According to Watts, Cripe had purchased the latte at a McDonald’s restaurant around 12:30 p.m., and he likely consumed the energy drink and soda shortly thereafter.
Just two hours later, Cripe collapsed at school and was pronounced dead by 3:40 p.m., according to Watts.
Cripe’s autopsy did not show any signs of an underlying heart condition, nor did he have any drugs or alcohol in his system when he died.
"This was not an overdose. We lost Davis from a totally legal substance," Watts said. "Our purpose here today is to let people know, especially our young kids in school, that these drinks can be dangerous, and be very careful with how you use them, and how many you drink on a daily basis."
More than anything, Watts hopes that this devastating story will warn parents and children about the dangers of consuming too much caffeine.
"Parents, please talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks," he said.
According to CNN, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents, between the ages of 12 and 18, should not consume more than 100 milligrams of caffeine per day.
As for energy drinks, "children and adolescents are advised to avoid energy drinks. They can contain a significant amount of caffeine as well as other stimulants," Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, nutrition specialist and vice chairwoman in the department of nutrition at the University of California, Davis previously told CNN.