July 14, 2009

Update: Orinda teen choked on own vomit after mixing medication and alchol

Police said Wednesday that Joseph Loudon did not poison himself by drinking too much at a neighbor's party May 23, but from a dangerous mix of alcohol and a prescription opiate medication used to increase blood flow. In fact, the blood-alcohol level of the 16-year-old Miramonte High star rugby player was "very low," police said.

An autopsy by the Contra Costa County coroner determined that he had died of "asphyxia due to aspiration of gastric contents due to alcohol and papaverine ingestion," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Police, however, say that Loudon did not have a prescription for the drug, papaverine, which is used for patients with circulation problems. They also are not sure if he took it orally or by injection and have not heard of any recreational use of the drug.

Meanwhile, Lamorinda blogger The East Bay Daze has Orinda Police Chief William French confirming that police twice visited the Hillcrest Drive home the night 16-year-old sophomore Loudon collapsed, after an evening of reportedly drinking heavily. French says police first went to the home of Patrick Gabrielli at around 10:30 p.m. Gabrielli is the 18-year-old neighbor of Loudon's who was hosting the party while his parents were out of town.

French says officers, there to investigate a noise complaint, spoke to a girl, supposedly Gabrielli's sister. The officers saw "nothing unusual," including no minors drinking alcohol, and left.

About an hour later, someone called 911 to say that a young partygoer--Loudon--had collapsed and was unresponsive. Loudon was taken to Kaiser medical center in Walnut Creek where he was pronounced dead.

Three people have been arrested in connection with Loudon's death, including Gabrielli, known as P.J., who was arrested on suspicion of furnishing alcohol to minors and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was released on $5,000 bail.

Police also arrested a 16-year-old boy on two counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both misdemeanors, and a 22-year-old Rohnert Park man who was allegedly running a fake ID operation that he was selling statewide, including, possibly, to teens in Lamorinda.

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