MOREHEAD CITY, NC — A 20-year-old man died after swallowing dozens of over-the-counter caffeine pills on a dare from a fellow community college student.

Jason Warren Allen had swallowed most of a 90-pill bottle, which would be the equivalent to drinking as many as 250 cups of coffee, authorities said.

The 90-pill bottle was equal to 250 cups of coffee.

"It's a terrible, terrible story," said Morehead City police Major Wrenn Johnson. "No one suspects caffeine to be deadly."

Allen was taking general education development classes at Cateret Community College. He collapsed outside the college during a break from class Oct. 20. It wasn't known when he took the pills.

A security guard found him and called the rescue squad, which took him to Carteret General Hospital, where he died Wednesday.

Authorities said it appeared that Allen died of heart rhythm irregularities associated with the high dose of caffeine, which is a central nervous system stimulant.

Prosecutor David McFayden said he wouldn't decide whether to pursue charges until the police complete interviews and toxicology tests are in.