Stone Foltz death ruled accidental, attorneys vow to see justice done

Family attorneys say the ruling doesn’t have value without more of the story.
Ohio lawmakers push anti-hazing bill after BGSU student's death
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 11:35 AM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The Lucas County Coroner’s Office has ruled that the death of Stone Foltz, the 20-year-old Bowling Green State University sophomore, was an accident. Attorneys for the family say that ruling doesn’t paint a complete picture of what happened on March 4.

The report specifically states that Foltz died of “fatal ethanol intoxication during hazing incident” and does rule his death an accident “due to a college fraternity induction ritual.” Foltz’s blood-alcohol level on the day he was brought to the hospital was reportedly 0.394, nearly five times the legal limit, and the attorneys for his family believe it was much higher earlier in the evening.

In a statement provided to our sister station, WSYX in Columbus, Rex Elliott and Sean Alto of Cooper Elliott say they while the autopsy report provides “valuable information” about the young man’s death, “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.”

The statement goes on to vow justice for Stone’s death saying, “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.”

Stone Foltz died on March 7, a few days after he was found unresponsive in his Bowling Green apartment after joining other members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at an off-campus event. Since the incident, the fraternity has been placed on interim suspension and an investigation by the university has resulted in six Code of Conduct violation charges levied against the organization. On Tuesday, the fraternity chose not to move forward with a hearing on those charges.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Stone’s mother said they hold the fraternity responsible for their son’s death.

His death has sparked new debate about hazing and Greek Life on college campuses. Students at BGSU have demanded the administration take action against all Greek houses, citing concerns they have about both hazing and sexual assault and harassment. Meanwhile, lawmakers at both the state and national level have introduced new and updated legislation that looks to curb hazing activities on college campuses through harsher criminal punishments.

So far, no criminal action has been filed as a result of Stone’s death.

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