Too much caffeine led to heart problems that killed SC teen

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. -- A coroner says a 16-year-old South Carolina high school student who collapsed and died in a classroom had heart problems caused by drinking too much caffeine.

On April 26, Davis Cripe was pronounced dead after he collapsed in a Spring Hill High School classroom. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said caffeinated drinks caused him to have a cardiac event.

"Davis on this particular day - within two hours prior to his death - we know had consumed a large Diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonald's, and also some type of energy drink," Watts said.

Watts said he wants the public to know what Davis consumed was not unusual or illegal - but it can be lethal.

"The purpose here today is no to slam Mountain Dew, not to slam cafe lattes, it's not to slam energy drinks. What we want to do here today is make people understand that these drinks, this amount of caffeine highly ingested, can have dire consequences," Watts said.

"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, Davis' father, told WOLO.

Davis was said to be an otherwise healthy kid. Watts is now encouraging parents to monitor their children's caffeine intake.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.