BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham middle school student who died of alcohol poisoning last month had a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.40, according to toxicology results released this week.
Hazel Christine Phair, 14, an eighth-grader at Whatcom Middle School, came home at 2 a.m. Sept. 29 and went to bed. When the girl's mother checked on her at 6 a.m., Phair did not respond. Paramedics rushed to the home in the 2200 block of Dean Avenue but could not revive her.
Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel said this week the official cause of death was alcohol poisoning. Earlier, police said she likely choked on her own vomit.
A blood-alcohol level of 0.40 can be deadly even for adults. In Washington state, the legal limit for drivers old enough to drink is 0.08.
Tests showed Phair also had marijuana in her system.
Bellingham detectives are still investigating the case. In September, police said Phair attended a party just before she died. On Wednesday, Oct. 24, police spokesman Mark Young declined to talk about any developments in the case.
Any tips about the party or who provided Phair with alcohol should be directed to Detective Tawsha Dykstra at 360-778-8664.