Athlete's parents speak out on his death -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Athlete's parents speak out on his death

Decatur, GA (WALB) - The parents of a Fitzgerald High School student who died after football practice are calling on the Georgia High School Association to launch an investigation.

The parents of 16-year-old D. J. Searcy say their son's death was the result of negligence on the part of coaches at a high school football camp.

D. J. Collapsed and died while attending football camp in Lake City, Florida August 2nd. His parents say D. J. became ill the night before his death even passed out but he was given no medical attention.

Even after passing out in a bathroom the night before, D. J. Returned to the field the next morning, completed practice, then died 90 minutes after practice ended.

"This is him on Sunday smiling, willing and ready," said his mother, Michelle. "This is him on a picture text from one of his teammates, to his brother with the message: 'Show your mama.' He was unconscious, unresponsive..."

His father, Carlton, is an Army Captain, and says proper precautions in the extreme heat were not taken.  "Not having a wet bulb on site, I don't understand that. A wet bulb, a thermometer gauge-- it tells you what the heat index is, your given location. And for us, it's mandatory in training, and it also gives you an idea as to when to downgrade your equipment, or how much practice you should be doing. When to integrate your work/rest cycles. This wasn't done."

The Searcy's lawyer says D. J.'s death was preventable, and they hope the GHSA will fully investigate potential violations of its policies.

Tonight at 11 you'll hear from the Ben Hill County School Superintendent about that school system's heat policy.

Coming soon: raw video from the Searcy's news conference.


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