NJ Penn State student had alcohol in system during deadly fall down stairs, coroner says
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The death of Timothy Piazza, a Penn State student from Hunterdon County, has been ruled accidental by the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania coroner.
Coroner Graham Hetrick made that determination, in the death of the 19-year-old from Readington, due to Piazza's multiple traumatic injuries from a fall down the basement stairs at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, near the Penn State campus in State College, Pennsylvannia. The coroner's statement did not offer any details.
State College Police said Piazza was intoxicated when he fell on Thursday night around 11 p.m., but an ambulance was not called to the fraternity house until almost 12 hours later. Police have yet to explain why it took so long for anyone to call 911, and have not yet returned a message seeking comment.
The fraternity has been placed on temporary "Cease and Desist" until the investigation and any potential conduct-related processes are complete, according to Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers. Penn State policy prohibits alcohol in all fraternities and sororities.
Piazza was a 2015 graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School, where he played football and was on the spring track team.
His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, with a wake on Friday. Donations in his name can be made to what his obituary calls his passion, the Penn State dance marathon called THON, via the event's website. He was a member of the THON Operations Committee.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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