UCF Freshman Student Laid to Rest Today

 

Ann Hefferin

Funeral services were held earlier today for the University of Central Florida freshman, Ann Hefferin, who died suddenly last Thursday in her dorm room.

A 911 call revealed that Hefferin was drinking at a fraternity prior to her death.

(Listen to 911 Call to Dispatcher below).

Ann Hefferin’s roommate called the police at 4 a.m. when the 18-year-old became unresponsive.

The dispatcher at the UCF Police Department instructed Hefferin’s roommate in CPR. Hefferin was gasping for air.

“She’s purple. She’s clammy,” Hefferin’s roommate said to the dispatcher. “She told me her heart hurt.”

The ambulance arrived shortly after to the Lake Claire dorms on campus. She was pronounced dead later at the Florida Hospital East.

Hefferin, a Bishop Moore graduate from Maitland, was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, and evidently attended a Sigma Chi fraternity house party.

According to UCF officials, she was at the party for a little over an hour, but they are unsure how much she drank.

“Although we do not know if it played a role in Ann’s death, alcohol was at the Sigma Chi house, which is a violation of university policy,” said UCF spokesperson Grant J. Heston.

Fraternity and sorority events must be approved by the university, Grant said, but this particular event was not.

The UCF’s “Golden Rule” student handbook indicates fraternities could face penalties for breaking any rules. Sigma Chi is in “good standing” with the university and is not participating in probation.

While the investigation continues, Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Chi are not permitted to conduct any activities.

UCF has created several alcohol prevention programs offered to educate students on drinking safely and making rational decisions while under the influence.  Freshmen are entitled to partake in a two-hour online alcohol education course that educates the students how to handle risks that come with drinking, including how to notify somebody for assistance if a friend is sick while drinking.

The U.S. Department of Education recognized UCF’s alcohol education programs as a national model in 2010, according to a release distributed by the university.

Hefferin’s autopsy was inconclusive, but the medical examiner is performing toxicology tests.

“We continue to grieve this terrible loss and to offer our assistance to Ann’s family and friends,” Heston said.

A Facebook page titled “Rest In Peace Ann Hefferin <3” was created in dedication to the teenager, and has since received much feedback from loved ones leaving memories and even strangers sending their condolences.

The description on the page reads, “This group is for everyone to post their prayers and thoughts for Ann and her family. Rest in peace Ann, you were unbelievable and will be truly missed.  We love you.”

Ashley Fields did not know Hefferin, but she provided a message for her via the Facebook page on Sunday. Like Hefferin, Fields is an 18-year-old freshman.

She told West Orlando News Online, it was a “scary situation” that she did not expect to happen as she entered college.

“For me, having this young girl die on campus, a girl who is my age, is a huge wake up call,” Fields said. “It makes all the stories we’ve heard that much more real now.”

Hefferin’s funeral services took place at 10:00  a.m. Tuesday, at the St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park.

 

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