Lincoln student died after drinking a bottle of vodka at lacrosse social, inquest hears

Alfie Head went into cardiac arrest and died in November 2023

An inquest into the death of University of Lincoln student, Alfie Head, has determined that he died of cardiac arrest after he reportedly drank an entire bottle of vodka at a Lacrosse social event.

18-year-old Alfie was taken to the intensive care unit (ICU) at Lincoln Hospital following the incident, where he died on Tuesday 14 November 2023.

It was determined at an inquest on Wednesday 28th February that he suffered from a hypoxic brain injury, as a direct consequence of aspiration pneumonia, which was caused by acute alcohol toxicity, Lincolnshire Live reports.

Alfie began studying at the University of Lincoln in September 2023, where his parents described him as having “the time of his life.”

On Wednesday, an inquest was held where the area coroner for Lincolnshire, Jayne Wilkes, read out a statement from PC Thomas Jacobs of Lincolnshire Police. PC Jacobs recounted attending Cygnet Wharf student accommodation just after midnight on 9th November, where paramedics were already attending to Alfie.

The inquest heard how Alfie’s friends spoke to the officer and explained that they had been drinking alcohol earlier that night at a Lacrosse Society social event. One recalled being “amazed” after witnessing Alfie drink a bottle of vodka at “pre-drinks”, where he “just downed it”.

Shortly after, Alfie collapsed on the way home to Cygnet Wharf and his friends helped him back. The friend said Alfie “went really bad, really quickly” and his breathing became inconsistent. Paramedics arrived on the scene just after midnight and found Alfie in cardiac arrest.

He arrived at Lincoln County Hospital at 1:16am and received treatment in the ICU, but died five days later, on Tuesday 14th November.

The coroner also read out a statement from Alfie’s family, describing him as “very much loved, at home and at uni” with a “very bright future ahead of him.” The inquest heard how Alfie joined the Lacrosse society at the university having never played the sport before and he was “so proud” to be on the team.

Alfie’s father, Mark Head, previously gave a touching tribute to his son, who described him as “the happiest we’ve ever seen him” at the University of Lincoln.

The coroner concluded the inquest by confirming that Alfie’s death was alcohol-related. Ms Wilkes thanked the family for their support of the inquest and said: “I would like to express my sympathies for their loss.”

In response to new information surrounding his death, the University of Lincoln and the Student Union paid tribute to Alfie: “The University of Lincoln and Lincoln Students’ Union will continue to support everyone affected by the heartbreaking passing of our student, Alfie Head. Alfie will leave a lasting impact on our community, and we will all cherish our memories of him”.

If you or someone you know is affected by this news, support is available at the university by contacting the University Wellbeing team at [email protected].

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