Coroner Rules Suicide in Kent State Student's Death
Christian O'Keeffe was struck and killed by a train in Kent May 27
The death of a Kent State University student in May has been ruled a suicide by the Portage County Coroner's Office.
Portage County Coroner Roger Marcial issued the ruling in the death of Christian O'Keeffe, 20, of Kent. He was killed May 27 when he was hit by a train on the CSX Transportation Co. tracks about 1 mile north of Middlebury Road.
"The determining factor was that there was a video from the train that showed his position on the tracks," a spokesperson for the coroner's office said.
The coroner's autopsy report shows O'Keeffe also had trace amounts of THC, the active chemical in marijuana, in his blood system. The physical cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma to the head.
At Kent State, he made the Dean's list in the fall 2011. In September 2011 O'Keeffe was among the outstanding undergraduate poets featured by the Wick Poetry Center. In April 2011 he won second place in the Wick Poetry Center undergraduate scholarship competition.
Funeral services were held in June.
O'Keeffe's death was the fourth Kent State student whose cause of death was ruled a suicide within the past year.
In April, university staff found 19-year-old Natalie J. Weber, of Cambridge, OH, dead in her residence hall room. Her death was ruled a suicide. Also in April, Leticia K. Nakibuka, 22, of Lake Street, shot herself on Vine Street after firing several rounds into the house at 1017 Vine St.
In November, Martin Alvord, 22, a Visual Communication Design student, committed suicide by lying down in front of a freight train near Towner's Woods park.