Local college students react to WSU drinking death

SPOKANE, Wash. - The death of a WSU student who died from drinking a deadly combination of alcohol and energy drinks is resonating with students across the region.

Over the weekend, 18-year old Kenny Hummel died from respiratory failure due to acute alcoholic poisoning.

According to his family, Hummel had a blood alcohol level of ,40, five times the legal limit for driving in Washington.

College students react to drinking death

At Gonzaga University, students said mixing alcohol and energy drinks is not uncommon among their peers.

"I think they are trying to make it so the alcohol gets to their system faster so they feel it faster, they don't want to wait," said Jennifer Nguyen, a sophomore at Gonzaga

"At house parties you really see the four loko thing that's really big, especially last year and the past couple years," said Drew Reeves, a senior at GU

Students said they know the drinks are dangerous but do it anyway because it's fun.  In fact, Nguyen said most students continue to mix the two drinks even though they've received alcohol education.

"It's more fun because then you are drunk and then you are awake and you are running around having a good time and you're not tired," said Michael Tochterman, a GU sophomore.

Hummel's family is now warning other students of the dangers of alcohol and energy drinks. They want to prevent another death and heartache for another family.

"The combination can be deadly," said Lea Ann Easton, Hummel's aunt  

"Parents, a lot of parents, just don't know that.  A lot of kids don't know that, that's the problem," she added.

"I think it will definitely make students more aware about what they are drinking, what they are mixing and how its going to affect them," said Reeves.

"I really hope so because WSU is so close, so hopefully people here will be like 'it's not just stats anymore, this is real, it's right here,'" said Nguyen.