Student hit by train in Potsdam in October had .27% blood alcohol level and pot in system, tests reveal
Friday, March 8, 2013 - 3:15 pm

POTSDAM -- An autopsy revealed the Clarkson University student who drowned after being hit by train in October had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal driving limit and trace amounts of marijuana in his system.

Police ruled the death of Shanith A. Samarasekera, 20, of Las Vegas, as an accidental drowning.

Chief Kevin A. Bates Samarasekera had a BAC of .27 percent at the time of the incident.

Chief Bates said he had notified the student's parents.

Samarasekera’s body was recovered in the Raquette River Oct. 21 after a lengthy multi-agency search of the water.

The Potsdam Police Department, the Potsdam Volunteer Rescue Squad, Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department, and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene.

At the time, police said SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University generated campus alerts after a witness to the accident said the victim appeared to be a college-aged male.