Cal Poly student struggled to breathe at party before death

February 12, 2013

calpolyCal Poly student Brandon Huang died early Sunday morning on the way home from a large house party in San Luis Obispo, where he began struggling to breathe. [Tribune]

Huang, who has just turned 20, stopped breathing around midnight Sunday just outside his Poly Canyon residence hall. University police responded and performed CPR but were unable to revive him. Police then transported Huang to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Cal Poly sophomore Ben Norris said he last saw Huang sitting outside at the party. Huang told Norris that he was “getting some air.”

“I felt I should have seen that he needed out,” Norris said.

After Huang’s death, Norris spoke with people who were in the car that drove Huang back to Poly Canyon. Norris said that they told him that Huang was struggling to breathe on the ride home.

Norris said alcohol “probably played a part” in Huang’s death, but “maybe there were other health problems.”

Police do not suspect foul play, but a university official said Sunday that Cal Poly had not ruled alcohol out of the equation. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Huang’s roommates described him as the “dad” of their group of friends. They said Huang brought a backpack with emergency supplies when the group would go out.

Huang, a second-year biology major, ran five mornings a week and just registered to compete in the April San Luis Obispo half marathon.


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Huang was transported to the hospital by San Luis Ambulance, not the police.