Allen Cripe, 16, probably had no idea that what he was doing was dangerous and deadly. On April 26, the South Carolina teenager drank a Diet Mountain Dew, a McDonald’s cafe latte, and an energy drink within two hours. He later collapsed at school and died shortly after. Caffeine was blamed for his death.
Scary Mommy reports:
“It was so much caffeine at the time of his death that it caused his arrhythmia,” [Richland County Coroner Gary] Watts said, adding that the arrhythmia was the cause of Cripe’s death, and that there was no evidence that he had any kind of condition that would cause his heart problems other than the caffeine.
Recent research published in The Journal of the American Heart Association showed that energy drinks can cause harmful changes in a person’s blood pressure and heart function, and those changes are far more extreme than in people who consume as much caffeine from drinks like coffee or tea, pointing to likely dangerous effects from the other ingredients found in energy drinks. Based on that research, it’s probably not safe to let kids have energy drinks at all, let alone with other caffeinated beverages in a short time period, like Cripe had.
Davis’s father made a statement to the public about his son’s untimely and tragic death. Coed.com reported:
“Davis was a great kid, and being his parent was a great honor to Heidi [his mother] and me,” said Sean Cripe, his father. He also cautioned people to stay away from energy drinks.
“I stand before you as a brokenhearted father and hope that something good can come from this,” Cripe said. “Parents, please, talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks. And teenagers and students, please stop buying them. There’s no reason to consume them they can be very dangerous.”