Updated: Apr 5, 2020
April 29th 2018, It was a beautiful sunny day and we decided to take the bikes out for a ride. We had just arrived at Lynnville park in Lynnville, IN and got off the bikes. Our daughter Aerika was getting a phone call from a number she didn't recognize. She knew it was a number from Kentucky, because of the 270 area code, so she decided to answer the call. The gentleman on the phone was looking for the parents of Zach Wardrip.
Aerika placed the phone in speaker mode and handed it to Lisa, saying she has no idea who it is. When Lisa answered the phone, the gentleman told us his name and said he was the coroner for Calloway County Kentucky. Lisa quickly asked "Oh My God, Is Zach OK?" His response was "No mam, hes not OK." Knowing we were talking to the coroner, Lisa immediately breaks out in tears and ask "IS ZACH DEAD?" His response was "Yes, mam....he's dead." We received the phone call that no parent/sibling ever wants to receive.
At first we assumed Zach had been in an automobile accident, but we quickly learned that wasn't the case.
Saturday April 28th, Zach went to Murray State University at Murray, Kentucky after he got off work, to visit a friend who went to school there. While visiting that friend, they ended up going to a fraternity party at Pi Kappa Alpha. (Pikes) At the party, Zach was being encouraged to "Chug" alcohol at a very fast pace. Zach became sick and started throwing up. Zach had every symptom of Alcohol poisoning, yet nobody called 911. Unable to walk on his own, he was assisted out of the party and down the street and was taken to the Lambda Chi Alpha housing unit . He was placed on a futon, and left alone to "sleep it off." Sometime after that, Zach passed away. Zach had died from alcohol poisoning at the young age of 19.
We had always talked to our children about never drinking and driving, never get in a vehicle with some one who had been drinking. We never talked to our son about binge drinking or alcohol poisoning. We never thought we had to.
Zach was a funny, caring, loving person, with a contagious smile and was full of life. Zach would go out of his way to help others out. As most teens believe, He believed that he was strong and perhaps invincible. However, on this night, his body was unable to process the quantity of alcohol that he consumed.
To say we miss Zach is an understatement. It is never in the natural order of things for a child to die before his or her parents. There is no opportunity to prepare, resolve misunderstandings, or “say good-bye.”
Since Zachary's passing, We have created The Zach Wardrip Foundation. Our mission is to educate the youth in our community on the dangers of binge drinking, alcohol poisoning and spread the word about the Indiana Lifeline Law. In doing so, we are also raising money for technical and vocational scholarship, to be given out in Zachary's name.
PLEASE talk to your kids about the dangers of Binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.