Spotlight On College Fraternity Deaths In Florida, Pennsylvania

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LIGHTHOUSE POINT (CBSMiami) – Prosecutors in Pennsylvania announced new charges Monday in the fraternity hazing death of pledge Tim Piazza at Penn State University.

It’s believed that he was forced to consume 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes, causing him to fall down some stairs at the fraternity house, resulting in horrific injuries.

“Visions of him lying in a hospital bed battered and bruised on life support, looking as if he got hit by a tractor trailer make no sense,” said his father, Jim.

Piazza’s father, Jim, spoke Monday after prosecutors said they recovered surveillance video from the basement of the fraternity house. Authorities said a member of the fraternity is believed to have deleted that video on purpose but the FBI was able to recover it.

“They claimed we don’t know what else happened other than what was seen in the upstairs video and we don’t know what happened in the basement. Well, guess what guys? Now we know,” Piazza said.

The South Florida family of Andrew Coffey is seeking answers in their case as well. Coffey is from Lighthouse Point. The FSU fraternity pledge died earlier this month following a party off campus. The Associated Press reported that police were seen gathering alcohol bottles off the front porch of the home where the party took place. The circumstances of Coffey’s death remain unclear.

CBS4 News reached out to the family of Andrew Coffey on Monday but they declined to speak on camera. The family did release a statement Monday thanking the many people who’ve stood by them during this incredibly difficult time.

“In what has truly been the most difficult time in our family’s lives, these wonderful people have made it possible for us to obtain some small peace of mind,” read the statement, signed by Tom, Sandy and Allison Coffey.

The family also said they sincerely believe that Andrew Coffey’s death can bring about change reducing these types of preventable deaths off college students.

“As our family grieves, it is our every hope that Andrew’s memory never fades away and that his unnecessary passing will be the catalyst for communication and positive change in a practice that is obviously broken,” the statement reads.

The family thanked the President of FSU for suspending all Greek life on campus. The fraternity that Coffey was pledging — Pi Kappa Phi — has been removed from FSU’s campus.

As the Coffey family deals with a heartbreaking loss, so too does the family of Tim Piazza.

“It’s time to man up fellas and be held accountable for your actions,” said Jim Piazza. “We’re making holiday plans without our son Tim because of your actions.”

In all, more than two dozen people face criminal charges in Piazza’s death.

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