18-year-old LSU student dies in possible hazing incident, high level of alcohol shows in autopsy

Max Gruver, 18

Maxwell Gruver, an LSU freshman pledging the fraternity Phi Delta Theta, died Thursday in what authorities are investigating as a hazing incident.  An autopsy of the LSU freshman showed that the 18-year-old had a highly elevated blood-alcohol level, according to East Baton Rouge Coroner.

Maxwell Gruver, of Roswell, Georgia, was a pre-Mass Communications major at LSU and his grandfather said he had recently been successful writing, getting articles published locally in his senior year of high school.

Maxwell Gruver was an “excellent swimmer” and played an array of other sports, including football and baseball, throughout his life, his grandfather said. “He had a very happy life in high school. He had a very happy graduation,” Eugene Gruver said. “We had a big family get together the night of his graduation. He spent the night with us (instead of out with friends)… that’s the kind of guy he was.  I cannot understand the hazing,” Eugene Gruver said. “He was so happy that he was going to school at LSU.”

The tragedy prompted LSU President F. King Alexander to indefinitely halt all Greek activity on campus. The fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, has been suspended by its general headquarters and the university. “Hazing is dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable,” said LSU President F. King Alexander at a news conference Thursday evening. “It will not be tolerated at LSU, period.”

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