Teen’s drowning death linked to sugary alcoholic drinks

Quebec coroner says more needs to be done to counter the dangers of adolescent alcohol consumption


A Quebec coroner has found that alcohol played a role in the death of a 14-year-old girl who was found dead in a stream behind her school in Laval, Que., last year.

Martin Larocque concludes that Athena Gervais died of drowning and possible hypothermia in the context of excessive consumption of a sweetened alcoholic beverage.

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A report released today concludes Gervais consumed most of three 568-ml cans of a beverage called FCKD UP–the equivalent of 12 glasses of wine–in the span of half an hour on Feb. 26, 2018.

She didn’t return to class that afternoon and her body was found three days later in a stream in a wooded area.

Larocque concluded that Gervais likely became disoriented due to the effects of alcohol and fell into the stream by accident, where she drowned in only two feet of water.

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Quebec and Canadian health authorities have moved to limit the sale and production of sugary, high-alcohol drinks since Gervais’ death, but Larocque says more action is needed to counter the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption in youth.