Parents’ suit alleges hazing in Prairie View A&M student’s death

The Dallas Morning News
The parents of a Prairie View A&M University student who died last month have filed a lawsuit alleging that the death was the result of brutal fraternity hazing.

The lawsuit stems from the Oct. 20 death of Donnie Wade Jr. of Oak Cliff, a 20-year-old transfer student who collapsed during an early-morning exercise session near the university, northwest of Houston.

Wade’s father, Donnie Wade Sr., earlier told The Dallas Morning News that he thought the exercise drill was part of a hazing ritual by Phi Beta Sigma, the fraternity to which his son was planning to pledge.

The lawsuit, filed by Dallas lawyer Kevin Kelley, names among its defendants the university and the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

Sheleah Hughes, a spokeswoman for Prairie View A&M, declined Tuesday to comment. She said a university inquiry into Wade’s death continues. So does an investigation by the police department in Hempstead, Texas.

Activities suspended
After Wade’s death, Prairie View A&M suspended all pledge and membership activities by fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations. At the time, George C. Wright, president of the historically black school, issued a statement saying, “The entire Prairie View A&M community is saddened by Donnie’s death. We extend our condolences to his family and friends during their time of bereavement.” Full story.


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