Former Northwestern student Michael Szot’s death caused by drugs, coroner’s office confirms

Khadrice Rollins, Summer Editor

Former Northwestern student Michael Szot’s death in June was a result of heroin and other drug usage, an official from the Kane County Coroner’s Office confirmed.

Szot died from a combination of heroin, fentanyl — an opiod pain killer — and diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, confirmed Karen Engh, Kane County’s assistant chief deputy coroner. The information is based on an autopsy and toxicology report, which included bronchial asthma as a secondary and contributing cause of death, Engh affirmed.

The Kane County Chronicle first reported Szot’s cause of death.

Szot was pronounced dead June 16 after being found unresponsive in the Waubonsee Community College library in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

In March, the 23-year-old was sentenced to four years probation, including one year of periodic imprisonment, for aggravated driving under the influence in the car accident that killed NU student Mihirtej Boddupalli and another passenger in July 2014. Szot, who was from Geneva, Illinois, had not attended NU since the crash.

Szot, a rising McCormick senior when the accident occurred, drove a car into a water-filled quarry after drinking at a bar in Naperville, Illinois. He escaped the car, but Boddupalli, who was also a rising McCormick senior, died in the crash, along with Sajaad Safiullah Syed, a 21-year-old Naperville resident and friend of Boddupalli’s.

In 2015, Szot pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI causing death after initially pleading not guilty.

Julia Jacobs contributed reporting.

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