Police investigating death of 20-year-old college student who collapsed at Hilton Head Island off-campus party

PHOTO: Caroline Smith is seen here in this undated file photo.PlayCaroline Smith/Facebook
WATCH Desperate 911 call released in college student's mysterious collapse and death

Authorities in South Carolina are trying to determine why a 20-year-old college student collapsed and died at an off-campus party in Hilton Head Island.

On Tuesday, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue released a 911 call connected to the death of Caroline Smith on Friday night.

"The original information obtained from the caller was for a fall with injuries, the call was upgraded to a cardiac arrest within a minute and additional units were dispatched to the scene," fire rescue said Tuesday.

In the 911 call, a person says Smith of Atlanta fell and hit her head.

"Um. ... I need an EMT. I think this (inaudible) is dying," the caller says.

"OK. ... Is she awake?" the dispatcher asks.

"Um no. She's not awake. She unconscious," the caller said.

According to the police report, which ABC News obtained Monday, Smith -- a sophomore at Furman University and member of Kappa Delta sorority -- was with her boyfriend at the time. She told him that she was not feeling well and moments later, she fell to the ground and was unresponsive, the police report states. Her boyfriend then started CPR on her.

Smith's brother, who was also attending the party, told police that she had been drinking but not using drugs. He also said she did not have any known medical issues, according to the police report.

When paramedics arrived, Smith was lying on her back outside at the side of a building by an overhead garage door. She was pronounced dead minutes later.

Smith was vice president of membership for the Kappa Delta sorority. The university said in a statement to ABC News that students had traveled to Hilton Head Island to attend a fraternity formal that was scheduled for Saturday night. The event was canceled after her death.

"Caroline was a history and communication studies major. ... The university extends its most heartfelt condolences to Caroline’s family and her friends. I hope all of you will do the same during this time of profound sorrow. Please take a moment to remember the life of Caroline and her time as a member of our community. May you find peace and comfort during this difficult time," university president Elizabeth Davis said in a statement on the school's Facebook page Saturday.

An autopsy has been performed, according to the coroner, but the cause of death is pending further analysis. Results could take weeks.

A memorial was planned for next week, the university said.

Comments