Local News

Chapel Hill schools investigating football player's death

Posted August 15, 2008 4:59 p.m. EDT
Updated August 15, 2008 7:32 p.m. EDT

— Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is investigating the Tuesday death of a high school football player several hours after a scrimmage.

Atlas Fraley's parents found the 17-year-old unresponsive in their 202 Fan Branch Lane home Tuesday evening, and they were unable to revive him.

The state medical examiner's office has not issued a cause of death. Police said that there were no signs of foul play and that the death didn't appear to be suspicious.

Fraley was a senior offensive guard and defensive tackle on the Chapel Hill High School football team, which participated in a Tuesday morning scrimmage at Middle Creek High School in Apex.

He called 911 from his house shortly before 2 p.m., complaining of body aches and dehydration and asking for paramedics to provide him with intravenous fluids.

School Superintendent Neil Pedersen requested the district investigation of Fraley's death.

Orange County Emergency Management Services officials also are investigating the case, but they have declined to discuss it.

"A full review of the facts is in progress," EMS Capt. Dinah Jefferies said.

EMS officials said Friday that a paramedic response vehicle was dispatched to Fraley's home in response to his 911 call. The vehicle, different from the ambulances used to transport patients, is fully equipped to handle medical emergencies, officials said.

Fraley wasn't taken to a hospital. It remained unclear Friday whether he refused to be taken to one or paramedics thought he was well enough to stay at home alone.

Orange County Emergency Medical Services  protocols   don't set a minimum age for allowing patients to refuse treatment. State law also doesn't address whether minors can refuse medical treatment.

Attorneys said the situation depends on Fraley's condition when EMS arrived.

David Fraley said his son never called him or his wife Tuesday to ask for help.

"He did what any smart kid would do. He knew that EMS could get there before we could, so he called them first," he said.

David Fraley said he found the phone on the floor next to his son when he came home Tuesday. He said he will insist on a complete investigation into his son's death.

"We will get to the bottom of everything. If it takes the rest of my life to do it, we will get to the bottom of it," he said. "I'm disappointed in the system, so disappointed in the system."