Lafayette College Student's Final Conscious Hours Included Off-Campus Party: Sources

A 19-year-old freshman died Monday at a Lehigh Valley hospital, a day after he was found unconscious at his dormitory. Authorities are piecing together the final hours of his life.

Lafayette College freshman McCrae Williams attended a party off-campus the night before he was found unconscious at his dormitory last Sunday afternoon, sources have told NBC10.

He apparently made it back to his room, the sources said, adding that a woman accompanied him from the party Saturday night to his dorm.

They are the first details to emerge from an investigation that still leaves much unknown about what led up to Williams being found Sunday afternoon at Ruef Hall North on campus. He died Monday at Lehigh Valley Hospital, officials said.

Local police have begun talking with Lafayette students about the hours leading up to a call for medical help by fellow students Sunday, sources said. Police believe "a chain of events" led to his death.

An autopsy released Wednesday by the Lehigh County coroner revealed that Williams died from blunt force trauma to his head. The coroner did not, however, release a manner of death, saying that may come after toxicology test results are finalized.

Authorities told NBC10 that more details from the ongoing investigation could be released next week.

Williams was set to play lacrosse at the Patriot League school.

Family Photo
McCrae Williams

Authorities in Easton, Pennsylvania, say the 19-year-old from Weston, Massachusetts, died with his parents at his side at Lehigh Valley Hospital around 5 p.m. Monday.

Lafayette public safety officers responded to a medical emergency outside Ruef Hall North — a dorm where about 150 first-year students live — around 4:20 p.m. Sunday, Easton police said. "Investigators believe the chain of events leading to the medical emergency call started on Saturday in the late afternoon into the evening hours," police said in a news release.

Dr. Catherine Hall, the head of school at Noble and Greenough School, where Williams played lacrosse in high school, announced that he died after falling and suffering a head injury.

"McCrae fell over the weekend and suffered a major head injury," she wrote in a letter sent to parents. "Our hearts ache for McCrae's parents, Dianne and Chris, and his brother, Chase, as they face this unfathomable loss."

Questions continue to surround the death of a Lafayette College student and lacrosse recruit who died after suffering a head injury from a fall. NBC10’s Brandon Hudson shows us how the campus community showed their support Tuesday as the investigation into the 19-year-old student’s death continues.

Easton Police, Lafayette College Public Safety, the Northampton County District Attorney's Office and the Lehigh County Coroner's Office are investigating Williams's death.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to McCrae’s family and friends," Lafayette President Alison Byerly said in a letter sent to the college community. "We will share information about memorial plans when it becomes available."

A vigil for Williams was held Tuesday night and counselors are available to students, the university said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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