Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Tests find cheerleader
who died in Maui
fall was drunk

Her blood-alcohol level was more
than twice the legal limit for driving

WAILUKU >> An 18-year-old New Jersey cheerleader who died in an 80-foot fall from a Maui hotel room had an blood alcohol content of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit for a driver in Hawaii, according to the Maui medical examiner.

"For a young person like that, it could have added to her misperception, confusion and disorientation," Dr. Anthony Manoukian said yesterday.

Manoukian said Lauren Crossan had flown from New Jersey to Hawaii, did some sightseeing and then "partied" after she arrived at the hotel on the evening of Jan. 11.

He said sleep deprivation combined with alcohol could have added to her disorientation.

The legal age for drinking alcohol is 21 in Hawaii. The state's blood-alcohol threshold for a driver is 0.08.

Crossan, whose naked body was found on hotel grounds on the morning of Jan. 12, had been selected as one of three cheerleaders from Randolph High School to participate with several hundred of other cheerleaders in the Hula Bowl. She was traveling with two other cheerleaders and the mother of one of the cheerleaders.

Two men who met Crossan said they were drinking with her at the hotel, although they were also under the legal age for consuming alcohol, according to Maui police acting Lt. Tivoli Faaumu.

Faaumu said yesterday he was looking into how the three had obtained the alcohol, and had "some idea" about the source but did not want to release the information yet.

Faaumu said police believe Crossan fell from the balcony of a ninth-floor room at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa occupied by the two men.

The two men, Eric B. Larson, 20, and Donald L. Devorss, 19, both of Folsom, Calif., were released after being questioned.

Larson told police he and Crossan had sex, but a preliminary report from the medical examiner indicated there was no sexual contact.

Larson and Devorss said they fell asleep and when they awoke, they did not know the whereabouts of Crossan.

Crossan's clothing was found on the floor of the hotel room.

The death has been classified as a fatal accident, and the evidence indicates no foul play was involved in her death, Faaumu said.

He said detectives are continuing to investigate and are awaiting the results to toxicology tests.

The tests, expected to be complete in one to two weeks, would show whether there were any drugs present in Crossan's body.


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