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Authorities Investigating After Sorority Sister Dies At Frat Party

Caroline Smith was at an off-campus party when she said that she didn’t feel well and then allegedly fell down. Her official cause of death has yet to be determined.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A South Carolina college student collapsed and died after drinking alcohol at a frat party over the weekend, leading authorities to investigate what could have led to her death.

Caroline Smith, a 20-year-old from Atlanta studying at Furman University, was attending an off-campus party on Hilton Head Island early Saturday when she told witnesses she didn’t feel good before falling to the ground, unresponsive, according to Georgia’s WSAV. First responders arrived to find Smith lying on the ground on the side of the building, Meeting Dynamics Inc., an event venue where the party was being held.

“I need an EMT. I think she’s dying. She just fell and hit her head,” an anonymous partygoer said during a 911 call, according to WSAV.

Smith “slipped and hit her head,” the caller said, adding that he “just found her” and suggesting that he didn't see it happen.

Smith’s boyfriend was performing CPR on her when paramedics arrived, but she was pronounced dead after they were unable to revive her, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.

An obituary on the Dignity Memorial Funeral Home website lists Smith’s cause of death as an “accidental fall,” but her official cause of death has yet to be confirmed, pending further analysis, the network reports.

Her brother, a college junior who was also present at the party, told authorities that his sister had been drinking that night but had not been doing any drugs and did not have any medical issues that he knew of, ABC News reports, citing a police report.

Caroline Smith

Smith, a sophomore and member of the Kappa Delta sorority, was among a number of students who had traveled to Hilton Head Island for a fraternity formal to be hosted by the Kappa Alpha Fraternity on Saturday night, the university’s media relations team confirmed to WSAV. The fraternity also hosted the Friday night party where Smith died, according to the outlet. The Saturday formal was canceled after her death.

Maj. Bob Bromage with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office confirmed to the Island Packet that Smith's death is being looked into.

Smith was majoring in history and communication studies at Furman, the university said in a statement offering their condolences to Smith’s loved ones.

“Please take a moment to remember the life of Caroline and her time as a member of our community. May you find peace and comfort during this difficult time,” university president Elizabeth Davis wrote.

Plans for memorial services in South Carolina and in Atlanta are currently underway, according to the statement.

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