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Local teen dies on graduation day

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Updated: 5/23/2013 6:34 pm
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Dalton Collins, 18, had a promising future ahead of him.  The soccer player was set to graduate from Glynn Academy on Wednesday.  And to celebrate, friends say, Collins and his classmates threw a party at a rented house on St. Simons Island.

Action News spoke to a partygoer, who did not want to be identified.  That partygoer said, "I just saw Dalton with a funnel, and he was just funneling drinks."

He continued to tell Action News that friends tried to get Collins to calm down.

"We tried to get the funnel away from him.  But he climbed up on the roof and accidentally stumbled and just hit his head on the chimney a little bit," said the partygoer.

The partygoer said he and some friends made sure Collins was OK, and then they continued to party. 

Action News asked him, "When you left, was he conscious?"

The teen replied, "Yeah, he was snoring.  Like he was just sleeping."

At 4 a.m. Wednesday, Glynn County police say someone at the party called 911.  Collins wasn't breathing, and he had no pulse.  He was pronounced dead at a hospital at 5 a.m. on the same day he was supposed to graduate high school.

Glynn Academy Principal Dr. Scott Spence said, "This has been very difficult.  You hate for any child to pass away.  But on the day of his graduation?  I can only imagine what's happening with his parents right now."

Police say they found 15 kids at the house, ages 16 to 20.  They say they found liquor, beer, wine, and marijuana.  Twelve of the 15 kids were cited for underage alcohol possession.

An official cause of death has not yet been released.  

Spence said Collins was remembered at Wednesday night's graduation ceremony with a moment of silence.  There has been no word yet on funeral arrangements.
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