NewsCovering Kentucky


UK Suspends Student, Fraternity After DUI Crash That Fatally Injured Boy

Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 19:25:07-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The University of Kentucky freshman accused in last weekend’s DUI crash that fatally injured a 4-year-old boy and the fraternity he was pledging are both suspended, the university president announced Tuesday.

In a letter to the “campus community,” UK President Eli Capilouto also said that the university’s Police Department had launched an investigation in the case.

The student, 18-year-old Jacob Heil, is accused of being under the influence of alcohol about 2 p.m. Saturday when the vehicle he was driving crashed into a father and his young son along Cooper Avenue, not far from where a game was being played at the University of Kentucky’s football stadium.

Marco Shemwell was taken to the hospital with critical injuries and died Monday.

Police say Heil admitted to drinking two beers earlier in the day. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.051 percent after the crash.

The drunken driving threshold for adults in Kentucky is 0.08 percent or higher. However, because Heil is underage there is no acceptable limit for minors.

Heil was a pledge to the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, which suspended him after the incident.

On Tuesday, Capilouto’s message said the fraternity “has been suspended on an interim basis.” He also said the university’s Police Department has opened an investigation and is working with the Lexington Police Department.

A letter sent to the fraternity from the University of Kentucky Office of Student Conduct, says that Alpha Tau Omega allegedly held an unregistered tailgate event off campus at an address on Waller Avenue. The letter says that ATO provided a timeline, indicating that money for alcohol was pooled among members on September 14, and the alcohol was allegedly purchased and served to minors on September 15.

The letter also says that ATO confirms every new member, or pledge, was present at the house on September 15. UK’s letter says that the alleged behavior violates two of their provisions of their Student Code of Conduct, misuse of alcohol and hazing.

UK says that if their investigation reveals more violations, the University reserves the right to add additional alleged violations.