Update: Coroner releases statement about UWSP student's death - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Update: Coroner releases statement about UWSP student's death

by Meg Bonacorsi

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- U-W Stevens Point leaders say a student died early Saturday morning, after he was found unconscious in his dorm's stairwell.

Police found 19-year-old Andrew Woods of Fredonia shortly after one.

He later died at the hospital.

Last night, UWSP faculty met with students who lived with Woods to provide information and counseling opportunities.

They also shared a moment of silence for the teen.

The autopsy for Woods is now completed however there are still many unanswered questions about what happened Saturday morning.

The Portage County coroner says it could take months before he can determine the exact cause of the teen's death.

"My friend found him and then I think he moved him because he was face down," says Paul Frank, a student who lived in the same dorm as Woods.

Although Woods was found in a stairwell in this residence hall, the Portage County coroner says trauma did not play a role in the teen's death and foul play was also ruled out.  The coroner doesn't know if Woods had any pre-existing conditions, but has requested medical records.

He says Woods did drink the night he died, but doesn't know if alcohol is what killed him. Toxicology results will take weeks to gather and pathology studies could take months.  But since underage drinking was involved to at least some extent, a university spokesman says it will not be overlooked.

Stephen Ward says, "It's certainly not unique to this university but all the more reason to address that and really talk to students."

Right now, investigators don't know how Woods got a hold of the alcohol, or where he drank it.

Ward says, "Our university protective services and Stevens Point police are looking into every angle and every lead on this case."

As they continue to investigate, students who lived with Woods are just beginning to recover.

Cassie Bando says, "I was just shocked and really sad because I was here in this dorm sleeping and it's just kind of disturbing the way it happened and really unfortunate."

Franks says, "It's just so weird to see that happen, it's just so scary because it could have been anyone, it could have been me."

Counseling is being provided for students and faculty, and anyone who needed to be excused from class was allowed to do so.

Woods's funeral will be held Thursday near West Bend.

On that day, the university mourning flag will be flown on campus in memory of him.

Online Reporter: Meg Bonacorsi

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