Stevens Point student dies of unknown causes

A UW-Stevens Point student died Saturday, Feb. 7, after he was found unconscious in a residence hall.

Freshman Andrew Woods, 19, was found by an employee in a Thomson Hall stairwell at about 1 a.m. on Saturday, said Stephen Ward, Steven Point’s director of university relations and communications.

“Staff then called the university emergency crew right away and began an effort to revive him,” Ward said. “From there they took him to a hospital, which is located across the street, where they attempted to revive him again for an hour before he passed away.”

Trauma and foul play have both been ruled out as possible causes of death by the coroner’s office, according to the release.

Jason Thomas, a sophomore at Stevens Point, was caught off guard by an event like this happening on his campus.

“I was incredibly surprised when I heard about the event,” Thomas said. “You never think something like this could happen and it’s just sad. It just seems likeeveryone knows somebody who knew him.”

Thomas added that Thomson Hall has three hallways which each receive low amounts of traffic, and that he can see how someone could go unnoticed for a period of time.

After eliminating criminal activity as a possible cause of death, alcohol poisoning was the next thing investigators looked into, Ward said.

“Although it appears he had been drinking that night, alcohol consumption has not been determined to have been the primary cause of death at this point,” Ward said. “It’s basically been ruled out.”

It could be a good amount of time before conclusions are reached, Ward said.

“Medical tests are currently under way and will take at least 10 weeks before any information can be gathered,” Ward said.

Ward is unsure of what will be changed at Stevens Point as a result of the tragic event.

“It would be inappropriate for us to make a decision about what we can do on campus to prevent (things like this) in the future,” Ward said. “Once we know more about it we can make a decision and go from there.”

Thomas says he is still very confident in the university emergency response team.

“I think the university emergency team is pretty good,” Thomas said. “If it was me in that situation I would still feel very safe with the emergency crews. They got there so fast and did everything they could.”

Woods’ funeral was last Thursday near his hometown of Fredonia. The university mourning flag was flown and a moment of silence was held on campus to pay tribute.