Cornish man, 20, dies in birthday party drugs collapse

Sam Thornton
Image caption Samuel Thornton had been celebrating his birthday

A mechanic from Cornwall has died after apparently taking drugs while out celebrating his 20th birthday.

Samuel Thornton, from Falmouth, was at a legal rave at a warehouse on the Kernick Industrial Estate in Penryn when he fell ill.

Paramedics were called there the early hours of Sunday and Mr Thornton was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, where he later died.

His brother said he had taken an "illegal substance".

Police are investigating the circumstances of Mr Thornton's death.

A post-mortem examination is expected to be held shortly.

The warehouse event was fully organised and had a 0400 BST licence, officers said.

Mr Thornton's brother James said: "On Saturday Sam was celebrating his 20th birthday... it seems he took an illegal substance which ultimately took his life and he passed away on Sunday morning.

"He was by no means a junkie or drug addict but was always out for a thrill or the next adrenaline rush which probably led to him taking whatever it was he took."

He said the family was "devastated" and paid tribute to Mr Thornton, saying: "Sam was simply the best, he was the best employee, the best uncle, the best brother, the best grandson and the best son anyone could wish for.

"We would also like to urge other youngsters who take or are tempted to take drugs that drugs can, and do kill, we have seen this first hand and wouldn't want to wish what we are going through on anyone."

Mr Thornton attended Falmouth school before qualifying as a mechanic in Penryn.

He had spent the last three years working as a tyre-fitter at a garage in the town.

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