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Teen struck by train lost his father weeks earlier

June 23, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. -- Dawn Frazier lost her husband, Timothy, to a series of medical ailments last month. Then, her 14-year-old son, Travis, was struck and killed by a MARC train last week while riding his bicycle.

"It's been really difficult here for all of us," Frazier said.

Her son's death Thursday occurred on the railroad tracks near Van Clevesville Road.

"I couldn't move for two days," Frazier said.

The boy's 15-year-old sister, Ashlee, "is taking it hard," Frazier said. An older brother, Thomas Staub Jr., 20., also survives Travis, his mother said.

A fund to assist with the cost of funeral expenses for Travis has been established at the Kearneysville, W.Va., branch of the Bank of Charles Town.

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The family will receive friends at Brown Funeral Home in Martinsburg from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. Services will be held at the funeral home at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The family has been struggling financially since Frazier's husband became ill about nine months ago and she had to give up her cleaning business for a lower-paying job with insurance that paid medical bills.

Frazier lost that job just before her husband died and nearly lost her home near Kearneysville because of her husband's illness, she said. His failing health took them to five hospitals, the last of which was Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he died in May. Frazier said she did not believe her husband's illness was fully understood by doctors who treated him.

Timothy Frazier, who was 48 when he died, suffered three strokes within two weeks and later was diagnosed with a blood disease, she said. He was on a feeding tube in the last months of his life, she said.

She said her son struggled with his father's death, but his spirits had been improving.

"He was a very loving kid," Frazier said. "He got along with everybody. He loved girls."

She said her son enjoyed fishing, riding his bicycle and riding a four-wheel, all-terrain vehicle with the son of her friend Christina Durham.

Durham, who on Tuesday established the Travis R. Frazier Care Fund, said the boys attended Shepherdstown Middle School and were "always together."

Last Thursday was an exception, she said.

Travis was with another friend, riding bicycles on the railroad track near Van Clevesville Road, Durham said. 

The boys were returning to Travis' friend's house from the 7-Eleven off Charles Town Road near the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham said.

The Maryland Transit Administration's investigation of the accident is expected to take several weeks to complete, but investigating sheriff's deputies have said no evidence was found to indicate the train was at fault. MTA operates the MARC commuter train service.

Individuals who wish to mail contributions to the care fund may send them to the Travis R. Frazier Care Fund, Bank of Charles Town, 5480 Charles Town Road, P.O. Box 579, Kearneysville, W.Va., 25430.

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