Coroner: Erie teen’s death at off-campus house in State College was accidental

  • Min Xian/WPSU

(State College) — The office of the Coroner of Centre County said the death of a 17-year-old who died at an off-campus house in State College last month was accidental.

The office of the Coroner of Centre County said the death of a 17-year-old who died at an off-campus house in State College last month was accidental. (Anne Danahy/WPSU)

Deputy Coroner Debra Smeal reported on November 22 that an autopsy found that John “Jack” Schoenig died from chemical asphyxia due to nitrous oxide. The report also said a toxicology report did not detect any alcohol in the teen’s system.

Schoenig was a high school senior at Cathedral Prep School in Erie.

Schoenig was pronounced dead at the scene at 522 W. College Ave. after he became unconscious and experienced shallow breathing. According to State College Police, when police arrived with Centre LifeLink EMS, they found him in full cardiac arrest. There were no signs of trauma, and several witnesses were there when Schoenig became unconscious.

Penn State placed the Chi Phi fraternity on interim suspension following the death. The fraternity’s members allegedly occupied the house, although it is not the fraternity’s official house.

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