Police ID fraternity member who died at Washington State University

Authorities say a preliminary investigation indicated that the death of Samuel Martinez, 19, may have been alcohol-related.

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By Doha Madani and Andrew Blankstein

Authorities are investigating the death of a Washington State University student at an off-campus house in Pullman, Washington, on Tuesday.

Members of the Alpha Tau Omega called police after finding fraternity member Samuel Martinez, 19, unconscious and not breathing, according to the Pullman Police Department. Other students performed CPR, but medics who arrived on the scene declared Martinez dead.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the student's death may have been alcohol-related, but the Whitman County Coroner has yet to determine the official cause of death.

The death at Washington State comes just days after a 19-year-old freshman died after leaving a fraternity event Wednesday night at the San Diego State University.

Dylan Hernandez was hospitalized after university police received a 911 call regarding a student in need of medical attention at a residence hall early Thursday morning, according to San Diego State President Adela de la Torre.

After his roommate discovered him without a pulse, Hernandez was taken to the hospital where he died Friday, according to the medical examiner.

San Diego State University suspended 14 fraternities under the school's Interfraternity Council after a university police investigation revealed allegations "that a fraternity was involved in possible misconduct."

Fraternities have been under increased scrutiny in recent years as more stories of alcohol-related injuries and deaths have emerged.

Timothy Piazza, 19, died in 2017 while pledging at a fraternity at Penn State University. Piazza fell down a flight of stairs and suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries at a Beta Theta Pi party. Police said that about 20 brothers failed to dial 911 or get outside help from the Penn State University campus, leaving 12 hours between Piazza's fall and when emergency responders were finally called.

An 18-year-old University of California, Irvine, student died of alcohol poisoning in January after an off-campus fraternity party. Noah Domingo had a blood-alcohol level of .331 and died of "acute ethanol poisoning," according to authorities.

Ohio University suspended all its fraternities in October amid allegations of widespread hazing. The school had already expelled its Sigma Pi fraternity chapter in May for hazing, alcohol and drug use, and other student conduct code violations after the alleged hazing death of 18-year-old Collin Wiant.

A lawsuit filed by Wiant's family alleged that his death in November 2018 was caused by asphyxiation after ingesting nitrous oxide provided to and forced on him by fraternity members. The fraternity denied the allegations and claimed Wiant was removed from the pledging process weeks earlier because of a sexual-assault allegation.