McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 1, 2013

19-yr-old dies from alcohol poisoning-death ruled suspicious

By Jeanne LeFlore
Senior Editor

McALESTER — A McAlester man found dead at McNally Flats in January has died under suspicious circumstances, according a medical examiners report.

 William Hatridge,19, died of “the acute toxic effects of ethyl alcohol” with a blood alcohol level of .35 percent, according to a report released Tuesday from the Office Chief Medical Examiner in Tulsa.

Hatridge died after was he found unresponsive Jan. 26 at a social gathering with friends at McNally Flats, according to Pittsburg County Sheriffs report.

At the time of his death, Hatridge was with a group of friends at a large pasture/wooded area where “people were drinking alcohol and standing around a large brush fire,” according to the sheriff’s report.

The report alleges that Hatridge was seen intoxicated after drinking a bottle of whiskey. He allegedly fell asleep in the back of a flat bed trailer where he was later found unconscious and later declared dead.

The report also states that several witness were interviewed at the scene.

One witness said he allegedly saw Hatridge sitting on the bed of a trailer holding a bottle of (whiskey).

The report states that one of the witnesses allegedly told Hatridge not to drink the alcohol and then left the party.

A witness also reported that he saw three unknown vehicles leaving the area and he found Hatridge sleeping on the trailer, “snoring,” the according to the report.

Hatridge was allegedly checked again a short time later and found not breathing,  911 was called, the report states.

No charges have been filed in the case.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns said Tuesday he will hand over the autopsy report and the results of his investigation to the District 18 District Attorney Farley Ward for further investigation.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.