South Carolina Teen Dies from Drinking Too Much Caffeine

Just say “no” to the large Mountain Dew.

Eric Vidal/Reuters

A 16-year-old overdosed on caffeine after drinking a combination of Mountain Dew, coffee, and an energy drink.

South Carolina’s Richland County coroner Gary Watts said the boy, Davis Allen Cripe, collapsed and died last month, NBC News reports.

During a press conference Monday, Watts told reporters, “On this particular day, within the two hours prior to his death, we know [Cripe] had consumed a large Diet Mountain Dew, a McCafé Latte from McDonald’s, and also some type of energy drink.

“The autopsy was performed and there was nothing there to indicate any type of... undiagnosed heart condition,” Watts continued. “It was so much caffeine at the time of his death that it caused his arrhythmia.”

It is unclear what energy drink Cripe consumed, though both a medical examiner and forensic toxicologist examined Cripe.

The coroner noted that the drinks are very dangerous, adding, “I'm telling my friends and family, ‘Don't drink them.’”

According to Caffeine Informer, a 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains 54 milligrams of caffeine. McDonald’s does not disclose how much caffeine is in their café latte, but the Food and Drug Administration says 400 milligrams of caffeine a day—about four or five cups of coffee—is the safest limit for consumption.

“The purpose here today is not to slam Mountain Dew, not to slam cafe lattes, or energy drinks. But what we want to do is to make people understand that these drinks — this amount of caffeine, how it's ingested, can have dire consequences. And that's what happened in this case,” Watts said.

Cripe’s father, Sean Cripe, also spoke.

“It wasn't a car crash that took his life,” he said of his son. “Instead, it was an energy drink. Parents, please talk to your kids about these energy drinks.”