On April 25, 2008, Mr. Gunter and a friend, Billy Moon, told their parents that they were going to an ice-skating rink. Instead, they went to a home in White County, Georgia.
Police were summoned to the home early on April 26. Mr. Gunter was transported to the hospital, while Mr. Moon was released to his parents. At the hospital, Mr. Gunter was put into a medically-induced coma. He died of the consequences of alcohol poisoning on Thursday, May 1, 2008.
An adult, William Maxton Midgett, 22, has been charged with providing alcohol to minors. My deep condolences to Mr. Gunter's family and friends.
In 2007, at least thirty-one young people died of alcohol toxicity (alcohol poisoning, alcohol overdose).
"There's no place that's actually keeping data on alcohol deaths"--Thomas Kunstman MD.
In an article called Magnitude of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18–24: changes from 1998 to 2001, by Hingson R, Heeren T, Winter M, Wechsler H. in Annual Review of Public Health. 2005, 26:259-279, the authors used statistical methods:
Estimated number of nontraffic injury deaths of all youth that are alcohol related:
Estimated number of nontraffic injury deaths of college students that are alcohol related:
by Kristen Mangum
White County News
A White County teenager who suffered alcohol poisoning over the weekend has died.
John Gunter, 17, died at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville on Thursday, May 1.
He was transported by ambulance to the hospital in the early morning hours on Saturday, April 26.
Gunter was the son of Linda Steinbrecher and a sophomore at White County High School.
According to Rebecca Wood - whose 16-year-old son, Billy Moon, was with Gunter on Saturday, the two teens were at a residence off Town Creek Road.
Wood said she received a call from law enforcement about 2 a.m., telling her to come and get her son.
“I got the worst call a mother could ever get,” Wood said, adding that her son and Gunter were not supposed to be drinking but, rather, at the skating rink.
Prior to his death, Gunter had been in an induced coma and in critical condition at the hospital.
White County Sheriff's Chief Deputy John O'Brien said an arrest has been made in connection to the incident.
William Maxton Midgett, 22, of Cleveland is charged with furnishing alcohol to an underage person and probation violation.
Midgett may face additional charges.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, the heartbeat and the gag reflex that prevents choking. A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions. After the victim stops drinking, the heart keeps beating, and the alcohol in the stomach continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate through the system. The victim may experience the following:
- Mental confusion, stupor, coma, unable to rouse the person
- No response to pinching the skin
- Vomiting while sleeping or unresponsive
- Slowed breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
- Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
- Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness
Alcohol Poisoning Requires Immediate Medical Attention
Alcohol Poisoning Cannot Be Reversed By:
- Drinking black coffee
- Taking a cold bath or shower
- Walking it off
The victim must have immediate medical attention.
Call 911, stay with the victim to prevent him choking on vomit, and tell emergency personnel how much alcohol the victim drank.
These Children Died of Alcohol Overdose, So Their Parents Started Foundations:
Taylor Webster's memorial foundation. Taylor died of alcohol poisoning at age 19-- Now his family and friends are working to get the message out, telling their stories and providing information on alcohol poisoning and the signs and symtoms of alcohol poisoning in hopes that lives will be saved.
Bradley McCue's memorial foundation. On November 5, 1998 Bradley turned 21. . He celebrated his birthday in a way that has become increasingly popular, drinking "his age in shots". That amount of alcohol was lethal and he died that night of alcohol poisoning.
Samantha Spady's memorial foundation. A 19-year old student at Colorado State University, Spady died of alcohol poisoning on September 5, 2004, "an unintentional tragedy." The Spadys say the SAM [Student Alcohol Management] Spady Foundation will develop peer-to-peer counseling and other services meant to reduce the risk of alcohol abuse.
Gordie Bailey's memorial foundation. The mission of the Gordie Foundation is to provide today’s youth with the skills to navigate the dangers of alcohol, and through education and promotion of self worth prevent alcohol poisoning, binge drinking and hazing.