OXFORD, Ohio -- A Miami University freshman who died of alcohol poisoning in January had a previous arrest for underage drinking, according to Oxford court records.
Eighteen-year-old Ericka Buschick was arrested in November 2016 after collapsing near campus with a blood alcohol content of .327 -- more than four times the legal limit in Ohio. Court records indicate she had a fake ID on her person at the time.
Although she appeared in court the following month, that arrest wasn’t enough to stop her from drinking.
She died in her dorm room Jan. 20. Her blood alcohol content then was .347.
Buschick’s friends didn’t know that at the time. What they did know, they told police, was that she had become increasingly uncoordinated after a night of binge drinking -- stumbling, slurring and even falling as they tried first to take her to bars and then to get her home safely. The friend who put her to bed in her dorm room told police that she laid Buschick on her side on a soft beanbag chair. She assumed that Buschick would be OK when she woke up.
She never did.
Her death, university officials and police said, was a tragic consequence of widespread underage drinking in Oxford and on other college campuses across the country.
"High-risk alcohol consumption among college students is of concern to every university president and I am determined and committed to doing all that we can to help ensure the well-being of all of our students,” Miami University President Greg Crawford wrote.
Fake IDs, a member of the Ohio Investigative Unit said, have become more realistic and easier to obtain than ever before, making the job of law enforcement and alcohol sellers harder.
Still, Buschick’s death has spurred local and state law enforcement to look more closely at underage drinking in Oxford. Last weekend, police made 35 underage drinking arrests near Miami’s campus and seized 21 fake driver's licenses from the suspects.