Drinking death ruled accidental

A Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumni died of alcohol poisoning, according to toxicology report results released by the Cookeville Police Department on Friday.

The official cause of Paul Hamilton Ten Eyck's death was ruled accidental by “acute ethanol toxicity” and criminal charges will not be pursued, Capt. Bobby Anderson said.

The Oracle obtained a letter outlining the university’s account of the events that surrounded the death.

The Dec. 8 death followed a “graduation/alumni transition ceremony” at the fraternity house with about 30 members attending. After the event, four to five members stayed at the house to consume a “few beers” before going out to local bars, according to the letter.

Starting at around 7 p.m. Ten Eyck drank from a handle-sized bottle of vodka and was found snoring on a couch at approximately 8:30 p.m. His fraternity brothers placed him on his side with his back against the couch and checked on him every 10-15 minutes.

At about 12:28 a.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 first responders arrived and transported Ten Eyck to a local hospital where he died.

“The employees of the Cookeville Police Department would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family of Ten Eyck. We want to remind everyone to drink responsibly and be mindful of your limits if you choose to consume alcohol,” Anderson said.

Edited May 10 to add Ten Eyck's full name.