‘Super tragic:’ Pasco teen died from alcohol intoxication, hypothermia, coroner finds

PASCO, Wash. — The Franklin County coroner has revealed what caused the death of a 16-year-old teenager last Friday night.

According to coroner Curtis McGary, the cause is being listed as hypothermia, due to acute alcohol intoxication.

Sgt. Rigo Pruneda with the Pasco Police Department (PPD) said officials are still investigating what happened that led to the boy perishing out in the cold.

According to Pruneda, someone walking by spotted him lying on the ground by Lewis St. and Main by the overpass and reported the body.

The next day, police received a missing person’s report which they used to determine the boy’s identity.

“It’s a super tragic event for our community,” Sgt. Pruneda said.

Pruneda said the boy was not appropriately dressed for the weather which contributed to his death.

“I think this is an incident where life’s about choices and I think the youth made some bad choices,” Sgt. Pruneda said.

But, he added that no one is to blame.

“Things happen and it’s tragic. We don’t want them to happen the way that they did,” Sgt. Pruneda said. “We just need to get together with our children to have these tough conversations. If you have youth, teenagers in your home, or if you’re a parent, have these conversations with your children. Talk to them about the dangers of alcohol, drugs, of overdosing… Let them know the dangers of it because we don’t want this to happen ever.”

KAPP-KVEW has confirmed the boy’s identity but will not be revealing his name as he is a minor. We can share, however, that he was a student at Chiawana High.

The Pasco School District sent KAPP-KVEW this statement which reads in full:

“We were very saddened to hear about the unexpected passing of [name redacted], a Chiawana High School student. The District will be providing extra counselors at Chiawana High School this week to support students and staff members who have been impacted by [name redacted] death.”