Family claims hazing in suit over Bethune Cookman band member's death

Matt Zalaznick's picture
Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bethune-Cookman University failed to stop fraternity hazing which led to the death of a Marching Wildcat band member, according to a lawsuit filed in Volusia County.

Marcus Thomas, 19, died when the car in which he was riding crashed into a utility pole on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard near Orange Avenue about 8:30 a.m. Feb. 20, 2012.

The suit filed by the dead student's mother claims hazing by members of the Pi Gamma chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America subjected Thomas and other pledges to sleep deprivation. The pledges, including the car's driver, Carl A. Beasley Jr., fell asleep, leading to the fatal crash, according to the lawsuit. All the others in the car besides Thomas survived.

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