Teenager collapses at school and dies after 'drinking caffeine too quickly'

A teenage student who collapsed in class died because he drank too much caffeine too quickly, a coroner has ruled.

Davis Allen Cripe, 16, drank a McDonald's latte, large Mountain Dew soda and another highly caffeinated drink in under two hours last month.

The pupil, who studied at a school in Columbia, South Carolina, collapsed shortly after and died about an hour later.

Now a coroner has determined that Davis's death was probably the result of a "caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia".

While the caffeine consumed did not represent an overdose, the way it was ingested "over that short period of time" has been labelled a significant factor.

Davis drank a latte, soda and energy drink in under two hours. Credit: PA

Gary Watts, coroner of Richland County, revealed it was likely the stimulant would not have been seen as a factor had witnesses not remembered what Davis was drinking prior to his collapse.

One witness reported seeing Davis downing an energy drink in the lead-up to his death.

"The energy drink was basically chugged," Mr Watts said.

Davis was considered a healthy teenager and did not have an un-diagnosed heart condition, he added.

Mr Watts continued: "This is not a caffeine overdose.

"We're not saying that it was the total amount of caffeine in the system, it was just the way that it was ingested over that short period of time, and the chugging of the energy drink at the end was what the issue was with the cardiac arrhythmia."

Davis may have had the same amount of caffeine on another day and been all right, Mr Watts said.

"We're not trying to speak out totally against caffeine," he continued.

"We believe people need to pay attention to their caffeine intake and how they do it, just as they do with alcohol or cigarettes."