18-year-old Reedley College student who died identified, no foul play suspected

Vince Ybarra Image
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
18-year-old Reedley College student who died identified
The investigation continues into the death of a student at Reedley College over the weekend.

REEDLEY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The student who died after being found unresponsive on Reedley College's campus over the weekend has been identified as 18-year-old Derek Burton.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says detectives learned Burton had been heavily drinking throughout the night in a dorm room where some of his friends were also present.

"Shocked to hear the news. Our whole campus community is grieving," said Reedley College Spokesperson, George Takata.

Reedley College shaken by the sudden death of one of their own, 18-year-old Derek Burton.

Takata explained Burton recently moved to Reedley from Oregon, where he played football with the Newberg Tigers.

He was planning to join the Reedley College football team as an offensive lineman next season.

In a short period of time, he was well-liked by his fellow football players.

"He had a promising future, really young, a whole life ahead of him, so it's just really tough to hear," said Takata.

The same sentiment is shared on a GoFundMe page set up to help Burton's family with funeral expenses.

Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said campus police responded to calls at the campus' dorms around 2:30 Saturday morning.

The case was later turned over to the Sheriff's Office.

"Detective started looking into it. They found out that Derek Burton had been heavily drinking throughout the course of the night. When he became nonresponsive some of the people, he was with called for emergency help," said Botti.

Burton was taken to the hospital in Reedley, where he later died. Botti said early investigations reveal there was no foul play. The sheriff's office is still waiting for the toxicology report.

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