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Accidental alcohol poisoning caused death of UC Irvine student after party, coroner says

Accidental alcohol poisoning caused death of UC Irvine student after party, coroner says
UC Irvine freshman Noah Domingo, 18, left, died in January after an off-campus party in Irvine. He is shown with his siblings. (Courtesy of Dale Domingo)

The death of a UC Irvine freshman after an off-campus party in January was caused by accidental alcohol poisoning, the Orange County coroner’s office said Monday.

Noah Domingo, 18, of La Crescenta died around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 12, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

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The results of a toxicology report revealed that his blood-alcohol level was about 0.33%. No other substances were detected in Domingo’s system at the time of his death, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The party occurred at a residence on Sycamore Creek in Irvine, about a mile from UCI.

Friends frantically tried to revive Domingo the next morning before paramedics arrived and declared him dead, according to 911 calls.

In a seven-minute 911 recording, a caller said Domingo “just drank too much.”

He went to sleep around 11 p.m. and his friends didn’t find him and call police until 9:30 a.m. the next day, according to the callers.

The coroner’s investigation determined that Domingo died about six hours before his body was discovered.

Domingo’s fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, was suspended in connection with the case, which the Irvine Police Department is still investigating.

UCI spokeswoman Patricia Harriman said Monday that Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national organization has closed the UCI chapter indefinitely.

Domingo had followed his older sister to UCI in fall 2018 and chose to major in biology and join Greek life, just as she had, said their father, Dale Domingo.

Harriman said Noah Domingo’s death “brings an urgent focus on alcohol and substance abuse, from the cultural pressures that encourage unhealthy behavior to the policies designed to mitigate danger.”

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman “has directed our division of student affairs to assemble a team of students, faculty, staff and external experts to offer recommendations for how we might improve our culture and policies to help ensure a healthier environment in the future,” Harriman said.

In a Jan. 14 email to the campus community, UCI student affairs Vice Chancellor Edgar Dormitorio wrote that university officials would “closely examine the larger context in which this tragedy occurred” and would be “working with the Greek community to help ensure that they are engaging in behaviors and practices that are in alignment with university policies and their own values.”

Sclafani writes for the Daily Pilot.

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