Medical examiner: Aaron Douglas died of an accidental drug overdose

Aaron Douglas, photographed in the News Sentinel studio in 2008. The former Maryville High School and University of Tennessee football standout was found dead on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, at Fernandina Beach, Fla. He was 21.

Aaron Douglas, photographed in the News Sentinel studio in 2008. The former Maryville High School and University of Tennessee football standout was found dead on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, at Fernandina Beach, Fla. He was 21.

Former Tennessee and Maryville High School standout Aaron Douglas died of an accidental drug overdose last month, according to a report released Tuesday by the Duval County (Fla.) medical examiner.

Douglas, who had transferred to Alabama for the 2011 season, had multiple drugs, including methadone, diazepam and traces of oxycodone, in his system when he was found dead early May 12 on the second-floor balcony at 2570 First Avenue in a Fernandina Beach, Fla., home.

An autopsy was conducted the following day, according to the report.

Methadone is used to relieve “moderate to severe amounts of pain,” among other reasons, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Diazepam, also known as Valium, is commonly used to relieve anxiety. Carisoprodol, which was also found in Douglas’ system, is a type of muscle relaxant.

Six different drugs were discovered in a blood test. Douglas did not consume alcohol in the hours before his death, according to the report.

Douglas, 21, a former freshman All-American offensive tackle with the Vols in 2009, transferred from UT after the coaching change from Lane Kiffin to Derek Dooley before his sophomore season. He played one season at Arizona Western College before signing with Alabama at the end of 2010.

Police said Douglas, who was found dead at 8:13 a.m. May 12, was last seen alive as late as 2 a.m. that same day. Following a dinner in Jacksonville on May 11, Douglas was traveling by taxi when he received a phone call from two local women, who invited him to a party in Fernandina Beach.

Despite multiple requests from the News Sentinel and other media outlets, the Fernandina Beach Police Department has not released the incident report or other, related documents to Douglas’ death.

The son of former UT football star, David Douglas, and former Lady Vols basketball player, Karla Horton Douglas, Aaron Douglas was almost pre-destined to suit up for the Vols at an early age. Former Vols football coach Phillip Fulmer offered Douglas a scholarship before he was even born.

After his transfer out of UT, though, Douglas underwent a number of highs and lows before his death.

He admitted to a battle with depression after parting ways with UT and Dooley, who stipulated Douglas transfer at least eight hours away from home as part of the separation from the program. He appeared to rebound at Arizona Western, as he emerged as one of the highest-ranked junior college players in the country for the 2011 class. He fielded a bevy of offers from major programs before committing to Alabama.

Just weeks after he officially signed with the Crimson Tide, Douglas was charged with driving under the influence on Christmas Eve in Maryville, an incident that led to a 48-hour jail sentence.

Douglas, though, appeared to rebound once again when he arrived at Alabama. He had a strong spring with the Crimson Tide and was in line to see playing time at left tackle.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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