California Fraternity Suspended After Pledge’s Death
(NEW YORK) — A California fraternity has been suspended after a freshman pledge died following a night of partying and drinking.
Fresno police are working with Fresno State University to investigate the death of Philip Dhanens, 18, who died Sunday at St. Agnes Medical Center.
Dhanens’ family said he was kept alive on life support so his organs could be donated. An autopsy is expected to take place after the organ donation is concluded.
“At this point we suspect it is alcohol-related, but we don’t have the toxicology tests yet,” a representative from the Fresno County Coroner Office said. “We’re certain we are doing an autopsy, but haven’t confirmed with the doctor.”
Dhanens’ mother told ABC News affiliate KFSN that he was only a freshman at Fresno State, about two weeks into his first semester. It was during those two weeks that he began the pledging process at the Theta Chi fraternity.
The fraternity held a party on Friday following a formal dinner at its off-campus house. Details about what happened at that party are not publicly known, but Dhanens’ mother told KFSN she was called by St. Agnes Medical Center at 4 a.m. Saturday, and told her son suffered severe brain damage.
University officials could not be reached due to Labor Day weekend, but in a press release, university President John D. Welty said, “We are heartbroken at the loss of this young man who had just joined our university community and had a life of promise ahead.”
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