NBC12 speaks with mother of Radford student found dead

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

RADFORD, VA (WWBT) - Loving and popular, that is how the mother of a dead Radford Student is describing her son.

Mary Mason says her family is devastated.

She said her son was pledging a fraternity and, like many college kids do, over did it with the drinking.

She's hoping her loss will help convince other students they're not invincible.

Loved ones describe 20-year-old Sam Mason as a fabulous kid, a wonderful brother and son.

He loved the outdoors and sports.

He played lacrosse at James River High School in Chesterfield.

Mason graduated in 2009.

Word spread quickly through that community.

Students and alumni tell us many of them found out last night they had lost one of their own.

Mason was found dead shortly after noon on Friday in the 1100 block of Fairfax Street.

It is just about two blocks from the Radford University campus.

Police say many students live in that area.

There are off campus apartments, as well as fraternity houses.

Mary says her son was pledging a fraternity and while police say they are investigating what role alcohol had in the death though Mary confirms her son over did it.

Radford City Police are still awaiting a toxicology report but no foul play is suspected.

We spoke with students at the university who say the mood there is somber.

A weekend on the college campus where not many people are going out.

One student tells us she believes this will drastically change Greek life at the school.

Mason's mom hopes it will teach other kids a lesson.

Radford's president Penelope W. Kyle posted a statement to the school's website:

"The entire university family is saddened by this tragic loss of one of our students. We extend our deepest condolences, heartfelt prayers and sympathy to Sam's parents, family, and his many friends during their time of grief."

Radford Police continue to investigate.

There are still many questions about the circumstances surrounding Mason's death.

His body is now at the State Medical Examiner's Office in Roanoke.

The funeral is set for next Saturday.

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