Yesterday was full of memories of two promising young Coloradans, each killed by the overconsumption of alcohol at a fraternity house. A memorial service was held for former Arapahoe High School honor student Jason Wren, while the last claims in a lawsuit brought by the mother of a CU student who died of alcohol poisoning in 2004 were settled.
Wren, a 19-year-old college freshman at the University of Kansas, was found dead in KU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house about 2:30 p.m. on March 8th. He reportedly drank margaritas with dinner and then as many as a dozen beers and also whiskey before dying.
As he walked around with the bottle, Jason boasted that he never got sick when he got drunk. He then passed out, and his fraternity brothers put him to bed. After he stumbled out of the bed, they put him back in the bed instead of taking him to the hospital.
The mother of University of Colorado student Lynn “Gordie” Bailey, who died of acute alcohol poisoning in September 2004 following a fraternity initiation ritual, has settled her lawsuit with fraternity on the eve of the trial that was to start this week. A settlement for a confidential amount was reached with both the Chi Psi fraternity and the Alpha Psi Delta Corporation of Chi Psi, which owned the fraternity house in Boulder.
When Bailey died, his blood-alcohol level was 0.328 percent. The night before, he and 26 other Chi Psi fraternity pledges at CU were blindfolded and taken to the woods near Gold Hill, west of Boulder, as part of an initiation ritual. The pledges were told to drink large amounts of whiskey and wine, police said at the time. After he was driven back to the fraternity, Bailey lapsed into unconsciousness.
None of the fraternity members called 911 for hours afterwards. Instead, some scrawled vulgar phrases and drawings on his body.
As part of the settlement, reform measures were agreed to by the fraternity to reduce the risk that such a death could happen again.