Details of SAE death released

Before his death, Paul Hamilton Ten Eyck drank straight from a 59-ounce bottle of vodka and passed out about four hours before his Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers called for medical assistance at the fraternity house on Dec. 7, according to a document obtained by the Oracle. 

The Oracle filed an open records request seeking a letter in which Dean of Students Katie Williams outlined the events surrounding Ten Eyck’s death.

The two-page letter stated that the planned “graduation/alumni transition ceremony” started around 6:30 p.m. that day with about 30 members attending. 

 Four or five senior members and recent alumni remained at the house to consume a “few beers” before going out to local bars, Williams said in the letter.

 “According to witness statements, Mr. Ten Eyck brought a handle-sized bottle of vodka to the house and began to consume the vodka drinking straight from the bottle at approximately 7 p.m.,” Williams said.

Fraternity brothers found Ten Eyck snoring around 8:30 p.m., positioned him with his back against the couch and checked on him every 10-15 minutes, Williams said. 

At about 12:28 p.m. a member of the fraternity notified chapter president Steven Mills that Ten Eyck was in need of medical assistance. Mills began chest compressions for CPR until the first responders arrived and transported Ten Eyck to a local hospital where he died, Williams said. 

Ten Eyck, 23, died at the hospital on following a “graduation/alumni transition ceremony” at the fraternity house on 68 W. Fifth St., according to the document. 

Cookeville police are waiting for a toxicology report from a medical examiner in Nashville to determine the official cause of death.

University officials and the SAE board of directors decided to close the fraternity for four to five years or until all the current members graduate due to a violation of the alcohol-free house sanction given in 2014 after a house fire, according to the document.