Youth, 15, dies after drinking binge on Shore

August 12, 1991|By Peter Hermann

A 15-year-old Texas youth visiting a cousin on the Eastern Shore died yesterday after participating in an "all-you-can-drink" party Friday at a Salisbury farmhouse, police said.

Brian C. Ball of Trenton, Texas, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.37 -- a lethal level, nearly four times higher than the 0.10 defined as intoxication under Maryland law. He died at Peninsula General Hospital in Salisbury.

State police spokesman Chuck Jackson said the party was attended by as many as 200 underage teen-agers, who paid a $3 admission price. "Shots of liquor were also plentiful for 50 cents each," he said.

Mr. Jackson said that a group of party-goers drove young Brian to the hospital Friday and that one youth went inside to report that somebody needed medical attention.

Nurses found Brian on the ground outside the emergency room unconscious and not breathing, Mr. Jackson said -- and the youths who had brought him were gone.

Mr. Jackson said some of youths who knew about the incident came forward later with information. Although police said they had identified the party site, they would not divulge the location because the home's owner had not been notified by last night and, according to police, the owner had been unaware the party occurred.

Mr. Jackson said he did not know if any member of the owner's family had been present at the party. As of last night, no one had been arrested.

"These are all minors," Mr. Jackson said. "We are interviewing 15- and 16-year-olds who were not in their proper frame of mind. Ball's blood alcohol content should have been zero, not 0.37," a level capable of causing death, according to Mr. Jackson.

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