Autopsy: Player died of natural causes

March 19, 2009 4:59:33 AM PDT
The medical examiner released the cause of death for an Orange County football player. The report, which was released today, shows Atlas Fraley's cause of death as "undetermined natural causes."

Fraley died last August after returning home from a football scrimmage. The 17-year-old Chapel Hill High School student complained of cramps and later called 911.

Reports show EMS crews were dispatched, but he was never transported to the hospital.

Wednesday attorneys released the following staement on behalf of the Fraley family:

"Two of the critical issues in this case are:

  1. Should 17 year old Atlas Fraley have been transported to the hospital by EMS, rather than being left at home alone, after EMS responded to this young man's 911 plea for help; and
  2. If Atlas had been transported to the hospital, rather than left at home alone, would he more likely than not, have survived?

The autopsy report does not address either of these two issues. His report simply states that Atlas died from natural causes, but does not shed any light on whether Atlas would have survived if he had been taken to the hospital rather than being left home alone by the paramedic that responded to the 911 call.

Now that the autopsy report is public, we will continue our investigation into the tragic death of this fine young man. "

Read the statement issued by the Orange County.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools also issued a statement concerning the autopsy findings.

"At the time of Atlas Fraley's death, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education directed the Board's legal counsel, Tharrington Smith, to conduct an investigation to determine the events that transpired on August 12, the day of Atlas' death. The report from this investigation has been held up by the delay in the release of the autopsy report from the Medical Examiner's Office.

We have not yet received this investigation report but would expect it in the near future. Therefore, we can't comment on the report at this time. We will make public as much of this report as is legally permissible once it is received.

We again extend our sympathies to the Fraley Family on the death of Atlas."


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