Student Dies After Friends Can’t Find Emergency Room

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EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KTVI) - We now know what killed a Mizzou student who fell at a New Year's Eve party in Edwardsville. Michael Heney was 20-years-old. He was a graduate of Lafayette High School, with his whole life ahead of him. It's a sad story, but it comes with lessons that may give meaning to his death.

Heney broke his nose and struggled breathing. A police report shows that friends didn't immediately call 911, because they were drinking underage. They searched for a hospital, but pulled into an urgent care that was closed.

Click here to learn basic first aid to save a life

At the urgent care, one friend called 911 and said, "We were at a party. I wasn't there. He, I mean, he's unconscious. He's bleeding out of his nose very bad. Uh, honestly we're not from the, I don't know the neighborhood. We just drove here, but I mean, he's in serious trouble."

According to police reports, Michael Heney's friends drove him around for 5-15 minutes, looking for an emergency room.  One friend told a 911 operator, "We do not know how to get to a hospital."

Edwardsville's Police Chief Jay Keeven said it started when Heney fell. Chief Keeven said, "He fell forward, striking his head in the front, on the pavement. So whether he slipped on the ice or whether he fell for another reason, you know, we don`t know that. We probably never will know that."

According to the police reports, most witnesses seem to think Heney slipped on the ice. The Coroner found he broke his nose and then died from 'Post-traumatic apnea from combined effect of concussion and acute ethanol intoxication.' Plainly, he was unable to breathe.

Chief Keeven said, "Call 911 when there is an emergency, rather than try to address that on your own, but again, whether the result would've been any different or not, I don`t know."

Fox 2 reached out to friends and family, who declined to comment.

Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn also said it's impossible to know whether medics could've save Heney with an immediate response.

The State's Attorney's Office reviewed the case and declined any possible prosecution.

This case should be a reminder to make sure you're prepared for an emergency. Fox 2 compiled some 1st aid reminders as well as a list of upcoming CPR classes.

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