The family of Tucker Hipps filed a $25 million lawsuit against Clemson University, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and three individuals from Sigma Phi.
Tucker’s family alleges that the 19-year-old died while on a 2014 pledge run and that his fraternity brothers tried to cover up the event. What can be confirmed is that Tucker’s body was found floating in Lake Hartwell, under the S.C. 93 bridge. An autopsy revealed that Tucker died of “blunt force trauma” consistent with a “downward headfirst falling injury.”
It has also be confirmed that Tucker was on a 5:30 AM pledge run with 27 other pledge brothers.
While the exact moments leading up to Tucker’s death remains open, some of the things that the Sigma Phi brothers did seem awfully shady. From TheState:
“One pledge assisted in the cover-up before Hipps’ body was found, texting Hipps’ girlfriend, Katie Clouse, telling her that Tucker was in the library, the lawsuits said. That pledge, Tyler Stanley, texted to fraternity members that the message to Katie “should help buy time” while the search for Tucker went on, the lawsuits said.”
Law enforcement agents have not charged anyone in connection with Hipps’ death.
The lawsuit also alleges that Clemson, “failed to provide education and training about policies to the fraternity, failed to suspend the fraternity immediately when it learned of conduct violations and failed to enforce its policies to protect pledges [source].”
The three individuals are Thomas Carter King, Campbell T. Starr, and Samuel Quillen Carney, the three fraternity brothers who accompanied the pledges on that run.