Report coming soon on death of football player

May 15, 2009 

— The N.C. Emergency Medical Services Disciplinary Committee met this week to discuss the death of Chapel Hill High School football player Atlas Fraley, especially the role that paramedic James Griffin played a few hours before Fraley died.

Griffin spent 22 minutes with Fraley after the teenager called 911 on Aug. 12 complaining of dehydration. Griffin left Fraley with water and Gatorade to drink, and the youth died within hours. He had played in a scrimmage game that morning.

An autopsy report suggested Fraley's dehydration and cramping may have led to a fatal heart attack, though the autopsy could provide no definite explanation for his death.

Orange County officials have not said whether Griffin followed county protocol, citing personnel and medical privacy laws in declining to comment.

Jim Jones, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Human Services, said the committee will make recommendations to state EMS Chief Drexdal Pratt on whether to sanction the Orange County Emergency Medical Services. Griffin resigned from the EMS unit soon after Fraley's death. Jones said Pratt should make a decision and release the committee's report by the end of May.

Staff writer Jesse James DeConto

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