On Friday, October 20, 2023, the Santulli family broke their two-year silence to address the devastating hazing incident that forever changed the life of Daniel “Danny” Santulli. His aunt Christine Prioleau, a nurse by profession who played a key role in Danny’s healthcare, spoke to KOMU 8 News to shine a spotlight on the dangers of hazing rituals in college fraternities.
On that day two years ago, Danny was rushed to the hospital with acute alcohol poisoning. A freshman pledge for Phi Gamma Delta (also known as “Fiji”), Danny had been forced to partake in a perilous hazing ritual known as “the family bottle,” where he was coerced into drinking an entire bottle of liquor in one night. His blood alcohol content was later found to be six times the legal limit.
Today, Danny remains unable to walk, talk, or see.
The Family’s Ordeal
Amid the chaos, Christine Prioleau played a pivotal role, guiding the Santullis through the medical maze that Danny was thrust into. "Everyone went silent when this happened. These were supposed to be his brothers, these were supposed to be people that they were going to spend the next four years with,” said Prioleau about the lack of student support Danny experienced in winter 2021.
Danny’s parents spent grueling months in a rehabilitation facility following Danny’s injury.
"They went from being empty nesters to now they have Danny at home, their baby, taking care of 24 hours. Can you imagine leaving your house at two o’clock in the morning and never returning for six months?” Prioleau expressed, capturing the disorienting upheaval that has become the Santulli family’s daily life.
As the criminal trials unfold, six of the 11 defendants have pled guilty for their roles in Danny’s life-changing incident, while the remaining five await their court dates this winter. Last year, the Santullis settled with 26 parties for their involvement in Danny’s injuries, but as Prioleau’s words make clear, no amount of financial restitution can mend the irreparable harm done to their family.
As another year passes, marking the anniversary of a night that devastated a family and shattered a young man’s future, Christine Prioleau urges parents and students alike to become acutely aware of the latent dangers lurking within the rituals of fraternity culture. Through their shared sorrow, the Santulli family issues a heartbreaking plea for awareness and change in hopes that no other family must endure the ongoing nightmare they live each day.