Investigation continues into death of SDSU student who attended frat party
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – An investigation will be carried out Tuesday into the death of Dylan Hernandez, a 19-year-old San Diego State University freshman who was hospitalized and later died after attending an event at one of the university’s fraternities.
Hernandez was taken to a hospital Thursday after campus police were contacted about his need for medical attention at a residence hall in the 6100 block of Montezuma Road, according to the SDSU Police Department.
Hernandez was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m. Friday at Alvarado Hospital, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, but a ruling on his cause of death was pending.
“On the morning of (Nov. 7), the decedent was found pulseless and apneic (temporary suspension of breathing) by his roommate in their dorm room. He reportedly attended a fraternity event the night prior,” the Medical Examiner’s Office reported.
It remains unclear whether alcohol was a factor in the death of Hernandez, a former Jacksonville, Florida, resident.
“His family gave their goodbyes late Sunday night,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre said in a statement Monday. “As a mother, nothing can replace the profound loss of a child, and the devastating heartbreak the family and their loved ones are experiencing.”
The university has not released details regarding the circumstances leading up to his death, but university officials have launched a webpage, sdsu.edu/investigation, which will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.
The university suspended all activities by the 14 fraternities that make up its Interfraternity Council on Friday after Hernandez was hospitalized. SDSU students reacted to the news of Hernandez’s death as well as to the university’s response.
The suspension affects more than 1,400 members of the 14 council fraternities, but does not affect the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the College Panhellenic Association or the United Sorority and Fraternity Council or the chapters affiliated with those organizations.
The university also announced in an email sent to students, faculty and staff that they are assembling two Presidential Task Force groups: Presidential Task Force on Student Activities and Safety and Presidential Task Force on Alcohol and Substance Misuse.
According to email, the task force on Student Activities and Safety “is charged with reviewing behaviors, education, policies, processes, and procedures of organizations and their members at San Diego State University.”
The second group, the Presidential Task Force on Alcohol and Substance Misuse “is charged with reviewing behaviors, trends, prevention, policies and responses related to alcohol and other drug use at San Diego State University.”
Hernandez, who lived at the Tenochca residence hall had been pledging Phi Gamma Delta, also known as “Fiji,” according to The Daily Aztec, the student newspaper.
Phi Gamma Delta was placed on probation in 2017 “after being found in violation of regulations pertaining to alcohol at off-campus fraternity events,” the student newspaper reported.
At the time of Hernandez’s death, six of the fraternities had been suspended by the campus for violating SDSU rules, and four were under investigation, according to a SDSU statement.
A friend of the Hernandez family created a fundraising campaign on the website GoFundMe Monday to support the family. The campaign, which is still accepting donations at bit.ly/2CvE0GW, had blown past its $1,000 goal to raise more than $26,000 as of 4:30 a.m.