Local News

911 call: 'My body is hurting all over'

Posted August 14, 2008 11:52 a.m. EDT
Updated August 14, 2008 5:48 p.m. EDT

— A Chapel Hill High School football player called 911 a few hours before he was found dead Tuesday evening to ask for help to relieve body aches and dehydration.

Atlas Fraley, 17, of 202 Fan Branch Lane in Chapel Hill, was found unresponsive in his home Tuesday evening by his parents, and they were unable to revive him.

Fraley called 911 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday, but the paramedics who went to his home didn't transport him to a hospital. Protocols used by Orange County Emergency Medical Services don't include a minimum age for allowing patients to refuse treatment.

EMS officials said Thursday they were conducting an investigation into how the case was handled, but they declined to say when the review would be completed. They declined to answer any questions about the case.

After participating in a scrimmage Tuesday morning at Middle Creek High School in Apex, Fraley, a senior offensive guard and defensive tackle for Chapel Hill High, complained of a headache, relatives said.

Although the caller isn't identified in the 911 call, a man tells the dispatcher in a weak voice that he had been at football practice earlier.

"My body is hurting all over," the caller said. "I think I need an IV or something."

The caller later told the dispatcher he wasn't bleeding and hadn't had any problems with his asthma.

"I think I'm just dehydrated and need an IV," he said.

David Fraley said he didn't know his son had called 911 until EMS officials told him on Wednesday. He said he is angry about the way paramedics responded to his son's call for help.

"He knew what was wrong with him, and the system let him down," David Fraley said. "They let him down. They let my son down and my family."

Authorities haven't released an official cause of death, but police said that there were no signs of foul play and that the death didn't appear to be suspicious.

Paramedics told the Fraley family that the teen had died of an asthma attack, David Fraley said, adding that he doesn't believe that.

"(Atlas) knew what to do if he started having difficulty with his asthma. He knew how to hook up his machine, he had an inhaler (and) everything was in the house that he needed," he said.

The younger Fraley’s body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

Chapel Hill police aren't investigating the case, Lt. Kevin Gunter said.