Feb 1, 2010 7:19 PM
"A lot of kids don't realize, they just think it is fun, that it's harmless. They don't realize that it's something you get sucked in to and it becomes very dangerous," Matthew Carrington's Mother Debbie Smith said.
The 21 year old died five years ago after drinking excessive amounts of water in the basement of the Chi Tau Fraternity.
Carrington was forced to drink from a five-gallon jug. Fraternity members continued to fill it and the water caused his brain and heart to swell and his liver and kidneys to fail.
Although some time has passed, his family's pain is still present.
"You just take it each day at a time and it's always difficult. Once your life changes like that, it never goes back," Debbie stated.
The family has worked hard for change. In 2006, they helped put "Matt's Law" a criminal hazing statute on the books.
Matt's brother Travis says he doesn't want anyone to go through what they had to. "Fortunately, we passed a law thanks to my mom and hopefully this will never happen again."
The family came back to Chico Monday to tell Matt's story on the anniversary of his death and for the start of the new semester. Father Greg Smith hopes their message will be heard. "Don't buy in to doing what you're told and into peer pressure. If you know something is wrong, don't do it."
The Chi Tau Fraternity house on the corner of Fourth and Chestnut has since been turned into a Jewish Center.
A candlelight vigil will be held Monday night at seven p.m.