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Coroner’s report reveals Singletary’s cause of death

Coroner finds alcohol, marijuana traces in system of student who died at Mirror Lake jump

Austin Singletary. Courtesy of OSU

Austin Singletary. Courtesy of OSU

The Ohio State student who died after sustaining injuries during the annual Mirror Lake jump tradition had traces of alcohol and marijuana in his system, according to an autopsy report obtained Tuesday from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office.

Austin Singletary, a third-year in human nutrition from Bellbrook, Ohio, died the morning of Nov. 25 as a result of blunt force injuries to the head and neck from diving into shallow water, the release stated. The manner of death is considered accidental.

The report reads that his antemortem blood, which is blood before death, had 0.18 blood alcohol content, as well as 7.3 nanograms per milliliter of Delta-9-THC, which is a psychoactive substance in marijuana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The .18 blood alcohol content is more than twice the level considered too intoxicated to drive in Ohio.

“In terms of marijuana, it is illegal here in Ohio so any level is above legal limit,” said Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz in an email. She added that she could not comment on Singletary’s sobriety.

Max Singletary, Austin Singletary’s father, declined to comment directly about the release of the coroner’s report, but he said he hopes the coverage of the incident helps encourage witnesses to share any information they might have.

“If there is anyone that has any information regarding the events of that night, would they please just get in contact with the university police,” he said.

Paramedics responded to a medical emergency at Mirror Lake on Nov. 25 at 12:20 a.m. Austin Singletary was shortly thereafter taken to the Wexner Medical Center, where he died about six hours later, according to the coroner’s report.

Jumping in Mirror Lake the week before the OSU football game against Michigan is a fan tradition. 2015 was the third year of increased regulation at the event. Students who attended — whether jumping or watching — were required to wear wristbands for admittance to the fenced-in lake area, and certain gates were designated as entrances and exits.

In a statement issued on Nov. 25, University President Michael Drake said OSU leadership was in strong agreement that they would work with the campus community to end the Mirror Lake Jump tradition.

This decision was echoed by OSU’s Undergraduate Student Government General Assembly when it voted in support of ending the tradition with 35 aye, 6 nay and 6 abstained votes during a Dec. 2 meeting.

University spokesman Chris Davey expressed condolences for those impacted by Austin Singletary’s death in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

“The Ohio State community continues to mourn the tragic loss of our young Buckeye, as we learn more information about this accident,” Davey said.


  1. What a poorly written and pointless article. What was your goal here?

  2. The goal here is for OSU to buffer themselves against paying any extra millions to the parents in the upcoming lawsuit by establishing that the deceased had shared a few joints and quaffed a few ales before he either jumped or was pushed into mirror lake. If he jumped, the award will be less, because he was partially responsible. If he was jostled, bumped, or shoved, the award will increase exponentially.

    • You usually don’t suffer blunt force to the head and neck when being pushed, this is what happens when you “dive” into shallow water.

  3. No need for this article whatsoever. You’re just sullying the reputation of someone. Bad journalism, but so typical of journalists, create sensationalism when none is needed. Must have been a slow story day. RIP Austin.

  4. This article is in really poor taste. Marijuana is measurable in the body long after the psychoactive effects are gone. There’s no good reason to be talking about it here. This is thinly veiled victim blaming.

  5. It’s a real shame that a great campus tradition has to end because this kid was Darwin Award caliber dumb. Having jumped multiple times, it’s good clean fun, and less dangerous than hanging Christmas lights on a two story house. The only way to die during this event is to be Darwin Award level dumb.

    • This campus tradition for many years has resulted in numerous students ending up in the ER at the university hospital, I suggest you check their records on this good clean fun, the Mirror Lake jump has been an accident waiting to happen for years. Darwin Award to you Drew!

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