Matt’s death has had a huge impact on many people, his family and his friends. I remember that horrible day just like yesterday. I woke up that morning not feeling that well so I decided to stay home from school. As my parents were leaving the house they told me that Matt was in an accident, they didn’t know what had happened exactly just that it was really bad and my aunt and uncle were on their way up to Chico . I remember thinking that everything would be ok, Matt would be fine and my parents were just over exaggerating whatever kind of accident he was in. About 20 minutes later, my dad called me and told me Matt didn’t make it and to be ready to go to Chico as soon as my parents got home and my sister was on her way home from Merced . Immediately I busted into tears. I tried calling my close friends to have someone close to me be there, but they didn’t answer their phones because they were at school. So I stayed on my bed crying. As soon as my family got home we left for Chico . I remember it was a quiet ride full of tears. That was one of the first times I saw my dad cry. When we arrived at Matt’s house in Chico , we did our best to comfort his family and to help them through everything. I remember taking Travis for a walk to kind of take his mind of his brothers death. I also tried to take all the kids out for a ride to get them out of my aunt and uncles way. It’s still so hard to believe that I’ll never get to see Matt again. Every once in awhile I’ll see something that reminds me of Matt and what happened and I’ll start to cry. Matt was a great person, he was loved by many and he didn’t deserve this. NOBODY DESERVES THIS! This was a stupid, senseless act resulting in the loss of a loved one that could of easily been avoided. I often ask myself, can I hate the people who did this to him? And I find myself with a yes and a no. Yes because they took Matt from us and no because they were Matt’s friends and I’m sure he cared for them deeply, but then again I don’t know that for a fact. Am I mad at them? Of course, anyone of those boys could of done something to help Matt. They could of put a stop to these crazy acts or better yet at least they could of called 911 when he first collapsed! But no they wanted to protect themselves and didn’t even care about Matt till they realized he wasn’t breathing. How selfish can you be? Here you have someone that your hazing just collapse into a seizure, and you don’t want to call 911 cause then you’ll get in trouble. So you wait until Matt stops breathing to call 911. AGAIN HOW SELFISH CAN YOU BE???? Those boys should of taking care of Matt. They were responsible for him that night and they’re responsible for his death! Their actions resulted in the death of a fun, smart, caring, loveable, loved, outgoing, son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, god brother and friend. Matt was still young a had a long life ahead of him to live until those boys murdered him! He never got to finish college, get married, start a family and make a career. Thanks to these boys Matt will never get to experience this stuff but they will and that’s not fair. No one should have their life taken from them like that! It should be a natural thing that happens when your older and in a natural way. A fraternity is brotherhood. One for all and all for one. They should stick together side by side and always be there for one another. How could they let this happen to someone that they supposedly care about? And the fact that some of those boys were not enrolled in the school shouldn’t matter when it comes down to charging them. If it did they should of not been able to participate in any form of hazing. HAZING IS HAZING whether or not its done for a school reason or just because someone feels like doing it. ITS STILL A CRIME AND THOSE BOYS COMMITTED IT. I know this world can’t be perfect and it’s not always going to go according to plan, but we need to make it clear that there are consequences for their actions, therefore these boys need to be punished for taking Matt’s life. If not were just saying that its ok to treat someone like this and hazing will continue to go on and on behind closed doors and it will continue to ruin peoples lives like it ruined Matt and his family and friends.

  -Brandi Vahl