Healthy teen dies of heart problems after too much caffeine - WSMV News 4

Healthy teen dies of heart problems after too much caffeine

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Davis Allen Cripe, 16, died from heart problems after drinking too much caffeine. (Source:  Cripe Family, WIS via CNN) Davis Allen Cripe, 16, died from heart problems after drinking too much caffeine. (Source: Cripe Family, WIS via CNN)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (CNN/WIS) — A healthy 16-year-old South Carolina high school student died from heart problems after drinking too much caffeine, according to the county coroner.

On April 26, Davis Allen Cripe drank a large Mountain Dew, a latte from McDonald's and an energy drink two hours before his heart fell out of rhythm at Spring Hill High School in Chapin, near Columbia.

The 16-year-old did not have a pre-existing heart condition that may have caused him to collapse and die, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said during a news conference on Monday.

The teen's father, Sean Cripe, said he was a great kid, had a larger than life personality and a heart of gold.

"Like all parents, we worry about our kids as they grow up. We worry about their safety, their health, especially once they start driving. But it wasn't a car crash that took his life. Instead, it was an energy drink," Sean Cripe said of his son's death.

Watts said Davis had purchased the latte at McDonald's around 12:30 p.m. After that he consumed the Diet Mountain Dew and the energy drink.

Davis collapsed at the school just before 2:30 p.m. and according to Watts, was pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m.

Along with not having any pre-existing medical conditions that could have been triggered by the caffeine intake, no other drugs or alcohol were found in the teen's system, according to Watts.

"This was not an overdose. We lost Davis from a totally legal substance, " Watts said. "Our purpose here today is to let people know, especially our young kids in school, that these drinks can be dangerous, and be very careful with how you use them, and how many you drink on a daily basis."

Watts said Davis died from a caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body, and lack of blood flow affects the brain, heart and other organs.

Sean Cripe said he hopes that if nothing else comes out of this, parents and kids will realize the dangers of caffeinated beverages.

"Parents, please talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks," he said.

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