According to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, 16-year-old Davis Allen Cripe suffered a “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probably arrhythmia” after consuming a McDonald’s latte, a large Mountain Dew soda, and a highly caffeinated energy drink in under two hours.
Watts added that it is likely caffeine would not have been considered as a factor in the teenager’s death had it not been for witness accounts.
Cripe, who was considered a healthy teenager, collapsed without warning at a high school near Columbia, South Carolina. He died about an hour later. Cripe had no history of heart problems, and an autopsy found no signs of a heart condition.
Mayo Clinic has previously concluded that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine his safe for most healthy adults. Based on nutritional information, Cripe would have consumed roughly 472 milligrams in the two-hour binge.
While caffeine is generally considered likely safe among healthy adults, it can be unsafe when consumed in large amount volumes over a short amount of time. Side effects of such caffeine use can result in: