BBC: San Diego State University suspends fraternities after student dies

Dylan Hernandez smiling at the cameraThe death of Dylan Hernandez was confirmed on Monday evening

San Diego State University has suspended 14 fraternities following the death of a 19-year-old student who had allegedly attended a fraternity event.

Dylan Hernandez was taken to hospital on Thursday morning, the day after the event, and died over the weekend.

Six Interfraternity Council (IFC) groups were already suspended and four under investigation prior to the latest incident, the university said.

San Diego State University police have opened an investigation into the death.

A fundraiser organised in memory of Dylan Hernandez has already raised more than $25,000 (£19,490).

The page says Dylan was “an outgoing, light-hearted and goofy person who had so much love to give to everyone he met. He never failed to make everyone in the room smile and his laugh was infectious”.

The San Diego medical examiner said Mr Hernandez was found without pulse and not breathing by his roommate in their dorm room on Thursday morning.

It listed the date of death as Friday, but the university said he had died with his family by his side on Sunday.

Six of the university’s fraternities were already under suspension, which occurs when there is a “perceived concern for the health and safety of a member”, according to the university.

A statement from the university said the investigation by university police had “uncovered information which alleges that a fraternity was involved in possible misconduct”.

Fraternities in the US have come under much scrutiny in recent years, most recently in the case of Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old student who died after a fraternity event at Penn State University in 2017.

He suffered internal injuries after falling down stairs during a fraternity initiation.

During the process of trying to join a fraternity, students are often put into activities or situations designed to cause embarrassment, ridicule or risk of harm, which is called hazing.

Hazing rituals are often harmless, but in some cases can turn into extreme bullying, physical violence and sexual abuse.

At least one hazing death has been reported every year in the US since 1959.

Since 2000, there have been at least 70 student deaths attributed to hazing.

Hazing and initiation ceremonies are widely banned, but continue to be prevalent in universities across the US.

The Tim Piazza case: People “have to see the damage” of hazing

What is a fraternity?

A fraternity is a social organisation at a college or university, founded on a set of principles that members must abide by and mostly designated by a grouping of Greek letters.

A fraternity usually means male members, and a sorority female, although many women’s and mixed organisations also use the term fraternity.

Undergraduates “rush” the fraternity they want to join by going to fraternity events and getting to know members. If the fraternity approves, they will give them a “bid” – an invite to the next stage.

Potential members then go through a “pledging” process to prove their value, through challenges based around loyalty and trust – a process that can also include hazing.

If the individual completes the pledge process, they become active members of the fraternity for life.

New Hampshire: Hit and runs lead to DWI arrest of Robert Harris of Vermont in Campton

26-year-old Robert Harris of St. Johnsbury, Vermont involved in a hit and run accident on Tuesday. Trooper Lori Terhune said after she stopped driver Robert Harris, she learned that he had hit and heavily damaged two other vehicles along the way.

CAMPTON, N.H. — New Hampshire State Police received several reports of a car driving erratically on Interstate 93 between Concord and New Hampton on Tuesday.

Witnesses who called in said the Hyundai Sonata was weaving from lane to lane, tailgating, and passing in the breakdown lane.

A short time later, state police say Trooper Lori Terhune spotted the car traveling on I-93 in the town of Holderness. As the car passed, Terhune noted that it was speeding and continuing to operate erratically. She caught up to and eventually stopped the car along Interstate 93 in the town of Campton.

The driver and sole occupant of the car was identified as 26-year-old Robert Harris of St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Terhune said after she stopped Harris, she learned that he had hit and heavily damaged two other vehicles along the way. He had left the scene of both collisions.

Harris submitted to a field sobriety test and was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI, conduct after an accident, reckless driving, and resisting arrest or detention for fighting with Terhune during the booking process.

Harris will be required to appear in court on the charges.

Police say the investigation is active and on-going.

Anyone who was traveling on Interstate 93 Northbound in the area at the time, or who may be a witness to this incident, is encouraged to contact Trooper Lori Terhune at 603-223-8767 or Lori.Terhune@dos.nh.gov

Maine: Wisconsin native, David Dieterich fell into Kennebec River; search continues

David Dieterich of Racine, Wisconsin, was identified Friday by Bath police as the man who fell in the Kennebec River Thursday night.
proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg

BATH, Maine — A 35-year-old Wisconsin man who reportedly fell into the Kennebec River in Bath Thursday night has been identified by police.

David Henry Dieterich of Racine, Wisconsin, was in Bath on a work assignment with his company Marshall Erecting, police said.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search at about noon Friday.

Assisting the Coast Guard were Maine State Police, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine Warden Service and Brunswick and Bath police, whose efforts to search for Dieterich were still active as of early Friday afternoon.

The Coast Guard said it responded at about 9:47 p.m. Thursday to a report of a man “jumping” into the Kennebec River from a pier near Kennebec Tavern. Police said the man had fell into the water.

Dieterich, a Bath Iron Works sub-contractor, was part of a small group of coworkers gathered on a floating dock by the north parking lot at Kennebec Tavern that had been roped off at the time of the fall, police said.

The group had been out socializing at several bars and restaurants in downtown Bath, and came across the area behind Kennebec Tavern, which was closed at the time and was not one of the places to which they had gone.

Witnesses told police it was “a surprise” when Dieterich had fell in the water, and that “there was no prior discussion or any indications he was going to jump.” They said they think Dieterich accidentally fell in, as the dock was very unstable.

Police said no foul play was suspected. They were focusing their search on the immediate area, but said the changing tide may have carried him away.

The military service’s Boothbay Harbor station launched a 29-foot response boat and worked alongside the other law enforcement agencies, as well as multiple local fire departments.

The Maine State Police Dive Team was on scene using a side-scan sonar to search below the water.

The Kennebec River’s water temperature was about 40 degrees Friday morning, the Coast Guard said, and its currents were moving swiftly.

If you are going out on the water, wear a life jacket, have a plan and avoid alcohol, the agency says. Notify USCG immediately if you see someone in distress.

Kennebec search map

Maine: Driver ejected in Portland crash involving 7 vehicles, police say!

Speed and alcohol are considered to be factors in the crash, according to the Portland Police Department.

PORTLAND, Maine — A seven vehicle accident in Portland temporarily closed Commercial Street between Silver and Pearl Streets Wednesday night.

The Portland Police Department says the driver at fault was ejected in the crash on April 17 around 8:30 p.m. He was taken to Maine Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Parked and occupied vehicles were hit in the accident. No one was seriously injured.

Police say speed and alcohol are considered to be factors in the crash.

View image on Twitter

Portland Police@PolicePortland

Commercial St between Silver St & Pearl St is closed due to a 7 vehicle accident. Driver was ejected in the crash but does not appear to have serious injuries. Speed & alcohol are considered factors. Road closed to conduct investigation and remove vehicles.

Commercial Street has since reopened.

This story will be updated as more information becomes made available.

New Hampshire: Dover woman, Robyn Dubois sideswipes cop car and tow truck, charged with Aggravated DWI, violating Move-Over Law

Robyn Dubois sideswiped a police cruiser and a tow truck and did not stop, according to police. She is being charged with not abiding by New Hampshire’s Move-Over Law, among other violations.

NEWINGTON, New Hampshire — A woman from Dover, N.H. who allegedly sideswiped a police cruiser and a tow truck and did no stop is being charged with not abiding by New Hampshire’s Move-Over Law, among other violations.

New Hampshire State Police say they had pulled a car over on Friday, Feb. 15 just before 1 a.m. on the Spaulding Turnpike at exit 4 in Newington.

The driver was arrested for driving while intoxicated and was in the police cruiser with an officer. Also at the scene was a tow truck driver who was working outside his truck when another car sideswiped both parked vehicles.

NH State Trooper side-swiped in Newington

State Police say the 18-year-old tow truck driver narrowly escaped getting hit by jumping into the open door of his cab as the driver passed.

RELATED: Drivers ignoring Maine’s ‘move over, slow down’ law

The two cruisers at the scene both had blue lights flashing, and police say the tow truck had its flashing amber lights on at the time.

Police were quickly led to the home of Robyn Dubois in Dover after releasing the description of the car that had hit them to other police agencies. Police say Dubois’s blood alcohol content tested at twice the legal limit when she was arrested.

RELATED: Some drivers criticize Maine’s ‘Move Over, Slow Down’ law as unclear

Dubois is being charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, conduct after an accident, and failing to abide the Move-Over Law.

Maine has a similar law, “Move over, Slow down” has recently come under scrutiny from some drivers in the state.

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety launched a social media campaign to explain the risks of first responders working on the side of the road and reminding drivers to do it.

Two Maine state troopers were hit in separate incidents on the same stretch of the Maine Turnpike over a span of eight days in late December.

Maine: Drunk driver Christian Bessatt, 35, pushes second vehicle into store in Casco

Christian Bessatt, 35, was driving under the influence when his car hit a second vehicle. The second vehicle hit Webb Mills Variety store on Route 11 in the impact.

CASCO, Maine — A drunk driver in Casco ran a stop sign at the intersection of Route 85 and Route 11 and crashed into another vehicle. The second vehicle was pushed into the Webb Mills Variety store on Route 11 from the impact late Friday evening.

The man charged with an OUI and for running a stop sign was identified by Cumberland County police as 35-year-old Christian Bessatt.

The driver of the second vehicle that struck the Webb Mills Variety store was identified as 27-year-old Bryanna DiFrancesco.

Both drivers sustained minor injuries in the crash.