It seemed almost a footnote to a court filing in a wrongful death case being pursued by the family of Jason Wren.
Wren, a 19-year-old Kansas University student, was found dead on March 8, 2009, at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at KU. An autopsy determined that Wren’s blood-alcohol level was .362 percent and attributed his death to alcohol poisoning. Wren’s family is seeking punitive damages from the SAE fraternity, which, they say, has failed to change its ways since Jason’s death.
As part of a recent filing in the case, the Wrens’ attorney noted, “Following Jason Wren’s death, Jason’s younger sister committed suicide. Tragically, months later, Jason’s mother Mary also took her own life.”
The family lived in Littleton, Colo. The Denver Post reported the death of 16-year-old Vickie J. Wren on Jan. 10; an obituary for her mother, Mary, who died on June 15, appeared on June 23.
We don’t know what other pressures the Wren family was under, but it seems unlikely that the two suicides were completely unrelated to Jason’s untimely death. It’s a poignant reminder of the far-reaching impact of alcohol abuse.
What, if any, responsibility the SAE fraternity bears in this case is for the courts to decide, but the tragedy suffered by the Wren family in the last 18 months is undeniable.