Lafayette College announced it would be opening its campus for students to live in spring 2021. The Easton college only allowed students with extenuating circumstances into the residence halls during fall 2020. (Em Okrepkie/B&W Staff)

UPDATE: Lafayette student’s death was related to alcohol


Lafayette College first-year student McCrae Williams of Weston, Massachusetts, died Monday night after he was found unconscious outside a campus dormitory.

Campus public safety officers responded to a medical call Sunday afternoon for a student who had been drinking, a college official confirmed to the Morning Call. The officers logged the call as related to the purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of alcohol.

Williams was transported from Lafayette’s campus to Easton Hospital by ambulance for a medical emergency and died in Lehigh Valley Hospital, according to a statement from Lafayette President Alison Byerly.

The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office reported Williams died of a head injury, according to The Morning Call. Coroner Scott Grim said in a news release the 19-year-old lacrosse player suffered “blunt force head injuries.”

Authorities are interviewing Williams’ friends and roommates to piece together the series of events that led to his death.

The college held a vigil for Williams Tuesday night on the quad.

His death marks the fifth loss of a Lafayette student in the past year and a half, according to The Lafayette student newspaper.

This is the second such death at a Pennsylvania college this year. Timothy Piazza, a student at Penn State, died in February following an alcohol-induced falling accident at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Additionally, authorities at Louisiana State are investigating whether fraternity hazing at the university’s chapter of Phi Delta Theta fraternity caused the death of a freshman on Thursday, according to the New York Times. All fraternity and sorority activities were suspended indefinitely, and the Phi Delt chapter was suspended by nationals.

After Lafayette first-year fencer Everett Glenn died of alcohol poisoning in 2012, the college enacted a stringent policy prohibiting students from associating with fraternities that operate without the school’s approval.

Pushing rivalries aside, the Lehigh community has extended its condolences those affected by the tragedy.

The Lehigh men’s lacrosse team wore maroon and black at practice Tuesday in support of the Lafayette team.

“Our hearts go out to members of the Lafayette community on the loss of one of their own,” Lori Friedman, Lehigh’s director of media relations, wrote in a statement.

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