Family reacts to UK’s findings of investigations into student’s death
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - This Christmas will be the first Hazelwood family will spend without their son, Lofton.
“It is an incredibly difficult time that you just can’t put into words what they’re going through right now,” said Matt Minner, the Hazelwood family’s attorney.
The 18-year-old died from alcohol toxicity in October. Officials at the University of Kentucky said Wednesday while no criminal charges are expected to be filed, they did find evidence of hazing, and underage drinking within the Farmhouse Fraternity that Lofton was a pledge of.
“The Hazelwood family is really just heartbroken to learn about the repeated hazing violations from the time Lofton started as a Farmhouse pledge, all the way up until the time that he died. They’re saddened to learn about all the alcohol-related violations that were released,” Minner said.
The family’s attorney said they are conducting their own investigation and haven’t ruled out taking legal action. He said they feel that’s the only way to make sure changes to policy happen.
“From a civil standpoint, I think it’s clear that there are multiple problems and multiple folks that contributed to what happened with Lofton,” Minner said.
The university said they are taking action by revoking the Farmhouse chapter’s student organization status and enhancing hazing and alcohol education across Greek life.
“I think there’s a lot that can be done to keep these tragedies from happening. I think certainly a part of that is having conversations with your young student that’s going off to college.... But you have to remember the families are turning these students over to the organizations that they’re becoming affiliated with. They really need in-house help within the organizations,” Minner said.
Consequences for fraternity members in violation of UK’s code of conduct could range from community service to university suspension or expulsion.
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