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UK suspends all activities for FarmHouse Fraternity while investigating death of student

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Posted at 11:12 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 21:16:01-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — University of Kentucky President, Eli Capilouto and Vice President for Student Success, Kristen Turner sent out a joint statement Tuesday evening sharing their condolences for Thomas “Lofton” Hazelwood and what the next steps will be for the university.

In the email, they announce the University has suspended all activities for the Farmhouse Fraternity while the investigation continues.

"The focus of the chapter – and of university officials involved in this review – needs to remain fixed on understanding what happened and finding answers."

Campus Community,

Last night, our community suffered a tragic loss with the death of our student, Thomas “Lofton” Hazelwood.

Lofton, as he was known, was 18 years old and from Henderson, Ky. He was an agricultural economics major. He lived in Lewis Hall and was a new member of his fraternity. He was involved in campus activities and, we know, loved by his family.

In other words, he had all the promise of youth and the potential that comes with it.

We have been in communication with his family and many of the students who knew and loved him.

There aren’t words adequate to convey what so many on our campus feel, the sense of loss and grief, sadness and emptiness. There just isn’t. Words can’t fill that void, nor will we try.

However, what we can convey, and what we can do, is reach out with the support members of our community need during this time and in all the days ahead. That includes Lofton’s family as they are members of our family – not simply today or tomorrow, but always.

We also can – and we will – commit to finding out what happened, how it happened and why. We have conveyed to Lofton’s family that we will move as quickly as possible, but also transparently and comprehensively. We won’t speculate or engage in conjecture, but we will find out.

To that end, here’s what we know thus far and how we are moving forward to understand more fully this tragedy.

UK will continue to provide counseling and other services to students and groups impacted by what's happened.

For counseling center's services click here and for 24/7 help call (859) 257-8701. If you are calling the counseling center after hours, press 1 from the menu of options to be connected to a clinician.

As of Tuesday evening,

UK Police are investigating after a student was found unresponsive at a fraternity and later died.

The Fayette County Coroner's Office says 18-year-old Thomas "Lofton" Hazelwood died from "presumed alcohol toxicity." His death is pending further investigation.

The coroner says Hazelwood's death is ruled an accident and is currently under investigation by the UK Police Department.

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Officials say UK Police were called to the FarmHouse Fraternity after a report of an unresponsive person at around 6:22 p.m. Monday evening. A UK spokesperson says the student was taken to UK HealthCare's Chandler Medical Center and later died.

Foul play is not suspected but police are investigating the circumstances of his death.

"UK officials are offering support services to members of the fraternity as well as his family and classmates," said UK spokesperson Jay Blanton. "Lofton was a first-year student majoring in Agricultural Economics and was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. The thoughts of the entire UK community are with his family and all those who knew him."

"We are saddened to share the passing of a University of Kentucky new member of FarmHouse Fraternity," said Christian Wiggins, CEO of FarmHouse Fraternity. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, chapter members and the entire community. We have encouraged all members to cooperate with the investigation. We will provide additional information as it becomes available."