“Seeing a life that would’ve been so great just suddenly gone for a really useless reason just sucks,” said Caroline Cate, Spanish teacher here at Highlands Ranch High School. Cate and David Frazier, friend of Cate, always loved to go out and have some fun.
Frazier was a senior from the years 1993 to 1994 at Klein Oak High School, when he chose to attend a high school party without his best friend Cate, where alcohol was present and where something tragic would be soon happening that night.
Frazier never fell into peer pressure and never had a sip of alcohol, but others could not say the same. A teen who was at the same party as Frazier, was very intoxicated and had happened to hit Frazier on accident, knocking him down, unconscious. No one called 911 in fear of getting in trouble with the law and their families. Frazier then remained unconscious until an adult arrived and called 911.
The next day Cate was one of the first people to receive the news of what had happened to Frazier the previous night. Frazier suffered from a traumatic brain injury that had severely impacted his motor functions.
Frazier was barely able to breathe by himself, and couldn’t move initially after the incident. He died three years later of his injuries on December 27th, 1997.
“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” said Cate. “He was funny and energetic, I remember him like he is in the picture- with a huge smile.” Cate and Frazier worked in the church’s nursery together and had plans to attend college together. Cate explained how they had a bond that no one could break, so this death had a huge impact on not only her, but the people around her.
“It’s just so jarring to know that something so tragic and traumatic can happen to anyone at anytime,” said Cate.
Underage drinking causes about five thousand deaths a year whether the person is under the influence or not. Some of the deaths that are caused by underaged drinking are similar to Frazier’s, but deaths can also be caused by motor vehicle crashes (1,900 deaths), homicides (1,600 deaths), suicide (300 deaths), burns (100 plus deaths), and drowning (1 to 5 deaths) according to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
“Doing harmful things to your body to the point where you have no control of yourself is just incredibly destructive and wasteful,” said Cate. Cate is exposed to high school students everyday; she is aware of some of the mistakes students can make in their free time. Cate said, “Just protect yourselves. Don’t do things that are going to make you lose control over yourself and do something you can’t undo.”
Libby Borgerding, Guest Reporter