The persistence of Jersey Shore Congressman Chris Smith (R - Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer Counties) has led to Garden City Community College in Kansas authorizing an external investigation into the death of former Neptune football star Braedan Bradforth.

The lineman died on the college campus in August from a heat stroke following football practice.

The college had run an internal investigation but didn't share the results.

Congressman Smith said they're cautiously optimistic that the investigation will reveal exactly what happened to Bradforth.

Here is Congressman Chris Smith's full statement on the announcement of the investigation:

“We—especially Braeden’s mother Joanne—hope that today’s announcement will prove to be a very important step towards true transparency and we are cautiously optimistic the GCCC Board of Trustees’ decision to intervene and join our call for an independent, external investigation will finally reveal what happened during Braeden Bradforth’s last day and what can be done to prevent others from suffering the same fate.

“After many months of tirelessly fighting for answers on what happed to her son, Joanne Atkins-Ingram has finally been promised an objective, professional probe—and the information any grieving mother deserves.  Joanne and her attorney, Jill Greene of Avon, NJ have stood up, courageously fighting for justice for Braeden and today they have been heard.  I will continue to work closely with them to ensure that the college now commissions a truly independent, external investigation driven by a commitment to transparency, truth and accountability.

“Among other things, this investigation should establish a detailed, second-by-second timeline of events on the night of Braeden’s death, with interviews of eyewitnesses who were at Braeden’s last football practice and those who later found him unresponsive. It should review Braeden’s medical records and any workout notes, as well as the college’s policies and protocols for student-athlete health and safety in place at the time of Braeden’s death, including its emergency action plan, and whether any updates to those policies are in line with current best practices. If it is properly done, this investigation could save lives in the future by helping prevent heat stroke deaths through education on best practices."

Bradforth who played in the Shore Sports Network All-Shore Gridiron Classic last summer received a scholarship in July of 2018 to play football at GCCC.

On August 1, 2018, his second day on campus, he collapsed after evening football practice and was found unresponsive.

After being taken to the hospital in an ambulance, he passed away just hours later due to “exertional heat stroke,” his autopsy later revealed.

GCCC Head coach Jeff Sims told the Garden City Telegram that the defensive linesman was found "medically distressed" in his dorm room after a team meeting.

After calling for a team trainer to help Bradforth, an ambulance took him to a hospital where he died about 11:30 p.m.

Coach Sims told the Witchita Eagle that an emergency room physician told him that Bradforth was probably unaware of an existing medical condition that had caused a blood clot that reached his heart.

The college later conducted an internal review of Braeden’s death, but the family never received the results of the review and to date, there has been no independent investigation into Bradforth’s death...until now.

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