10 May 2010

Student dies after drinking bottle of vodka

8:14 pm on 10 May 2010

The grief-stricken uncle of a boy who died after drinking a bottle of vodka is begging other parents and teenagers to learn from the tragedy.

James Webster, 16, was a year 12 student at Kings College in Auckland and died after going to a friend's birthday party on Saturday.

His uncle, Donald Webster, says it is believed James was in a car outside the party, drinking undiluted vodka straight from the bottle. He passed out after about an hour.

Mr Webster says James was well looked after by the organisers of the party and had been put in the recovery position, but he had had too much alcohol by then and died.

Mr Webster says he hopes people will make sure this never happens again.

"Tell them to stop - whip the bottle off them, smash it, pour it down the toilet, throw it away and call for help.

"I don't know if anything would've saved James with that amount of alcohol in his body - but he did drink it, and he did drink it over a period of perhaps an hour. Surely in that time there would have been an opportunity for someone to say stop that."

On Monday, the school held a special assembly for James Webster and several counsellors were on site for students to talk to.