Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli held a news conference to announce more details about the death of Lafayette Leopards freshman McCrae Williams.
The DA said he doesn’t see any hazing involved in the death of Williams, and he mentioned the Penn State case of the death of Timothy Piazza that is still in court.
Morganelli said the investigation of how Williams died is still not complete because of toxicology reports, but the DA was able to reveal some events that led up to his death.
The 19-year-old was involved in a “chain of events” that began Friday night at a party at his dorm building of Ruef Hall, with members of the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams also there. He was drinking alcohol and appeared to be OK and “talkative”, according to those that saw him. Around 11 that night, some lacrosse members went to a party on High Street, but it’s not known whether or not Williams went as well.
The next day, Williams went to a day drink with reportedly 50-80 people drinking beer. People see him moderately intoxicated, and he leaves to go to Wawa to buy some items before heading back.
Later that afternoon, Williams was in his room with a woman before he had to go into the bathroom and vomit. Around 6 pm, he vomits again and walks out of the room. The woman wasn’t aware of where he was going and heard “a loud sound”, and found Williams on the ground.
She goes to him and hears him “groaning” before she asks friends for help, but doesn’t say that he may have fallen. She only says he’s drunk and needs help with him. They help lift Williams on top of his bed on his side and put a backpack on his back so he doesn’t roll over and choke on vomit. He’s responsive and appears to have no external injuries. Those that helped Williams believe he just needs to sleep it off.
Later on, they check on Williams and he pulls the bed covers around himself, appearing to want to sleep. He doesn’t join his fellow freshmen lacrosse teammates later that night at another party.
Around 1 pm the next day, the friends check on him and get him food and water, but Williams wants to sleep. About three hours later, they’re concerned that Williams is still sleeping and may need medical attention. They try to dress him and he became reportedly combative. Williams tried to push those trying to help him, but he appeared to be weak.
Williams is put in a car to go to ER and his friends contacted one of the lacrosse coaches and informed him of the situation, with the coach advising them to call 911. He arrives around the same time the campus public safety and EMS officers arrive. He’s later taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, where he died on Monday.
Morganelli thinks there’s a strong likelihood that when Williams hit the floor Saturday, he hit his head on a concrete block floor in his dorm.
We’ll follow up on any more details when they come out. You can watch the entire news conference here.