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1:26 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Ruling in Box Death; Drugs Present

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma ME's office rules Box's death an accident

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The state Medical Examiner's office says Oklahoma linebacker Austin Box had five prescription painkillers and an anti-anxiety drug in his system when he died.

The death of the 22-year-old Box on May 19 was ruled accidental in the report released Tuesday.

The agency says the combination of the drugs likely caused pulmonary edema or fluid in the lungs and aspiration pneumonia inflammation of the lungs caused by inhaling foreign substances.

The report notes that Box had a "chronic pain history."

Box's family says in a statement that if others are using such a combination of painkillers, they're hopeful such people "will see this tragic accident as a message and think about the consequences."

Box was expected to start at middle linebacker for the Sooners this coming season.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.