The son of Tennessee Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester was found dead in his Phi Gamma Delta house last month. Wilson Forrester, 19, was a promising student at the University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona, which was ranked the fifth “hardest-partying” college in 2009 by Playboy.
On April 2, 2011 Forrester was having drinks at Fiji’s fraternity house when friends had to call paramedics after Forrester’s body collapsed. Forrester was pronounced dead at around 9 a.m. When Tucson news KGUN tried to talk to his Phi Gamma Delta, or Fiji, fraternity brothers they refused to comment. Only one comment was made “We’re getting over it and whatever you guys can find by yourselves, that’s pretty much it.”
On April 3, 2011 an autopsy was performed by Dr. Parks with the Pima County Medical Examiners office. Dr. Bruce’s report revealed that Forrester had 31 pieces of evidence of recent injury on his body, but no list in the manner or cause of the injuries.
Forrester’s toxicology repot showed that he had Xanax an anti-anxiety drug, Oxycodone and Oxymorphone which are painkillers; and alcohol in his blood and urine. The cause of death was overdose of alcohol and sedatives.
A spokesperson for the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center said that mixing alcohol and sedatives can make an individual too sleepy to realize they are ill. In Forrester the amount of each individual dose was not high enough to kill him, but combined they became fatal.
Forrester’s father, Chip Forrester said, “College students today are woefully unaware and ignorant that combining these substances can be fatal…There is little to no education being done on college campuses and at fraternities about this danger.”
University of Arizona police officer Jose Bermudez told Tucson’s KGUN news that the case was still active and a spokesperson would be in contact with the news group. In 2010 KGUN rated Fiji as a “Chapter of Promise.”
The University of Arizona rates their fraternities and sororities on a scale from “Chapters of excellence” to chapters that have lost privileges. Johanne Jensen who is the assistant dean who oversees fraternities told KGUN, that a chapter’s alcohol education efforts can affect its ratings.
Phi Gamma Delta has 138 chapters at campuses across the United States and Canada. Since Fiji was founded in 1848, there have been more than 166,000 men that have been initiated into the fraternity.
Forrester had a promising future coming from a prominent political family. Forrester proudly displayed his photo with former president Bill Clinton on his Facebook page. A memorial service was held for Forrester at his high school in Nashville, where former vice-president Al Gore was attendant.
Forrester’s father said, “Our family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of support during this trying time. Your thoughts and prayers give us strength.” According to family Forrester “had an absolute passion for life and he adventured through each day with a sense of purpose and an open mind.”