Attorney: Fry 'Shattered' Over Foster Accident

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON --- Clemson left guard Roman Fry lost a good friend this past Saturday in a freak accident he will never forget.

While out with four friends on Seneca’s Lake Keowee, Fry, fellow offensive lineman Nathan Bennett, Matthew Powell and Clemson assistant track coach Jarrett Foster, rode on two waverunners during a late afternoon ride. But a day of fun and sun turned into the worst evening of their lives when Foster’s and Bennett’s waverunner capsized, throwing both into the water. Fry, who was driving along close with the other waverunner tried to avoid Foster, but could not, and in the collision struck Foster in the head with the vehicle. Foster, 32 years old, later died from head injures sustained in the accident.

According to Fry’s attorney, the All-ACC performer is devastated.

“It is the equivalent of being behind the wheel of a car and you lose a good friend,”

Beattie Ashmore told WCCP sports talk show host Dan Scott Tuesday morning. “It was an unavoidable accident, but never the less, he was the driver and that is just something he will have to live with and overcome.”

Ashmore said it might take Fry a long time to totally heal from the events that transpired over the weekend because he was not only involved an accident that took someone else’s life, but he was involved in an accident that took the life of a dear friend.

“He is dealing with the loss of a very good friend as best he can,” Ashmore said. “He has been shattered by this accident and he is doing all he can to make it through this accident.

“He is certainly a very strong man physically, and he appears to me to be a very strong one mentally and that will serve him well in trying to overcome the loss of Mr. Foster.”

Foster coached four All-Americans, five ACC Champions and nine All-ACC athletes this past year at Clemson. He also coached an All-American in the pole vault (indoors), the heptathlon (indoors) and the triple jump (outdoors) for the first time in school history, and had an outdoor decathlon All-American for just the second time.

“Our thoughts and prayers are first with Jarrett Foster’s parents and family,” Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden said. “He was fine young man who had a significant positive impact on our track program and athletic department.

“This was a terrible accident. Our thoughts and prayers are also with Roman Fry and his family, as they also go through the grieving process.”

According to Lt. Robert McCullough of the South Carolina Natural Resources Department (DNR), Fry has passed a field sobriety test.

”At this time, it appears alcohol was not a contributing factor,” McCullough said.

However, the incident remains under investigation by the DNR. The two water vehicles had left a private party at a residence approximately a quarter mile north of Lake Keowee’s south cove.

Fry, however, was given a number of tests after the accident, and according to his attorney, he past every one of them.

“We are glad that they did that so it will remove that as any possible factor,” Ashmore said.

Ashmore doesn’t know a time table for when the investigation will be closed, but he does believe when everything is all said and done, Fry will not be charged with anything.

“We are all comfortable in the fact that this will be ruled an accident and no charges will be handed down,” Ashmore said. “They are doing the same kind of investigation as they would any other. It is extremely thorough.

“They want to satisfy themselves on exactly what took place that day. There were four men on those jet skis and they want to talk to each and every person involved. This was an accident and I think they will make that finding.”

Though Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis has already listed the cause of Foster’s death to be an accident, Fry’s family decided to hire Ashmore because of Fry’s stature of being a football player at a big time university and the questions still abound of alcohol being the cause of the accident.

“He realized there would be a great deal of press about this accident,” Ashmore said. “As we talked and he agreed with me that (the press) might not be favorable to him, but that is part of it and he is doing his best to deal with it.

“There is certainly an argument that Roman didn’t need to hire me in this case, but the fact remains there is an investigation going and he will go back and talk with (DNR). I think anyone will recognize that it is a good idea to take your attorney with you when you are speaking with law enforcement. This is something Roman has no experience at and that’s the reason they came to me.”

Fry and Bennett have both spoken with the Foster family and are both trying to move forward with their lives. But that’s not an easy thing to do when you lost a good friend such as Jarrett Foster.

“It certainly magnifies the loss,” Ashmore said. “All four of those guys were good friends. Mr. Foster was an outstanding individual and a good friend to these guys. Nathan and Roman alike are just trying to deal with the loss… It has been a very difficult situation for them to deal with and they are just doing the best they can under the circumstances.”

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