Discussion:
Travis Rios' Funeral
(too old to reply)
William Barger
2007-04-19 04:14:27 UTC
Permalink
25 year old Travis Rios was a minor league pitching prospect with the
Boston Red Sox organization. He was killed Tuesday in a two car crash in
Lake County Florida. A passenger in the other vehicle also lost his
life.


Travis starred at Eustis, Florida High School where I was an agriculture
teacher and assistant basketball coach. I also helped the baseball team,
mostly as a catcher's coach. Travis led Eustis to the 2000 District 3
state championship at Tampa's Legion Field over powerful Bishop Verot; a
talent laden big city private school. It was considered an huge upset to
everyone except Eustis fans.



Travis went on to star at Lynn University here in central Florida before
signing with the Red Sox organization.

Since I was a high school and college catcher I had the opportunity to
have many conversations with Travis. He not only was a star on the
field, but was also a extremely bright young man that particularly
enjoyed the outdoors and life in general.



I was forced to retire in 2002 due to devastating injuries suffered
breaking up a fight in the classroom. Travis' funeral at 2pm on Saturday
marks the fifth funeral of former students or players I have attended.
For such a small community that is certainly a large number. Three of
the five deaths were due to automobile wrecks. One suffered a fatal
heart attack and the other perished in Iraq.



For me the premature deaths of young people is absolutely devastating.
As a father of four, one (my 14 y/o son) of which I have raised by
myself since he was 2, it would be unimaginable to lose one of them
after giving them so much care and love. I have tried to instill a
survival state of mind in them, but kids believe they are immortal.



My deepest sympathy goes out to Travis' parents, siblings, and
grandparents. I feel terrible and quite sad for the sense of loss that
all the people whose lives Travis touched must be feeling right now.



My wish is that God had a plan for Travis and that he rests in the peace
that his aura extruded. I hope the grass in Heaven is the brightest
shade of green, that the chalk lines are perfectly straight, and the
stands are always full. God now has a great starter to add to his
rotation.

Bill
s***@yahoo.com
2007-04-26 21:53:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Barger
25 year old Travis Rios was a minor league pitching prospect with the
Boston Red Sox organization. He was killed Tuesday in a two car crash in
Lake County Florida. A passenger in the other vehicle also lost his
life.
Travis starred at Eustis, Florida High School where I was an agriculture
teacher and assistant basketball coach. I also helped the baseball team,
mostly as a catcher's coach. Travis led Eustis to the 2000 District 3
state championship at Tampa's Legion Field over powerful Bishop Verot; a
talent laden big city private school. It was considered an huge upset to
everyone except Eustis fans.
Travis went on to star at Lynn University here in central Florida before
signing with the Red Sox organization.
Since I was a high school and college catcher I had the opportunity to
have many conversations with Travis. He not only was a star on the
field, but was also a extremely bright young man that particularly
enjoyed the outdoors and life in general.
I was forced to retire in 2002 due to devastating injuries suffered
breaking up a fight in the classroom. Travis' funeral at 2pm on Saturday
marks the fifth funeral of former students or players I have attended.
For such a small community that is certainly a large number. Three of
the five deaths were due to automobile wrecks. One suffered a fatal
heart attack and the other perished in Iraq.
For me the premature deaths of young people is absolutely devastating.
As a father of four, one (my 14 y/o son) of which I have raised by
myself since he was 2, it would be unimaginable to lose one of them
after giving them so much care and love. I have tried to instill a
survival state of mind in them, but kids believe they are immortal.
My deepest sympathy goes out to Travis' parents, siblings, and
grandparents. I feel terrible and quite sad for the sense of loss that
all the people whose lives Travis touched must be feeling right now.
My wish is that God had a plan for Travis and that he rests in the peace
that his aura extruded. I hope the grass in Heaven is the brightest
shade of green, that the chalk lines are perfectly straight, and the
stands are always full. God now has a great starter to add to his
rotation.
Bill
I am the father of the one of the people Travis hit. Because of
Travis last actions he caused a 22 Christian year old girl to burn to
death, the good samaritains who stopped to pull the other out couldn't
get to her in time. My son was in a coma for 9 days and may have brain
damage. I realize the people of Eustis honor Travis for his past
sports actions. But his last act on this earth ruined 4 lives
forever. Travis's last act was to run head on into a truck with 4
adults at 85 miles an hour. He was drunk and driving on the wrong
side of the road. If you want to honor Travis hug your son and teach
him about the dangers of drinking and driving. Thank You Robert W
Griesse the father of Paul Griesse the one who owned the other truck.
Bill Schenley
2007-04-27 21:02:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@yahoo.com
I am the father of the one of the people Travis hit.
Because of Travis last actions he caused a 22
Christian year old girl to burn to death, the good
samaritains who stopped to pull the other out couldn't
get to her in time. My son was in a coma for 9 days
and may have brain damage. I realize the people of
Eustis honor Travis for his past sports actions. But his
last act on this earth ruined 4 lives forever. Travis's last
act was to run head on into a truck with 4 adults at 85
miles an hour. He was drunk and driving on the wrong
side of the road. If you want to honor Travis hug your
son and teach him about the dangers of drinking and
driving. Thank You Robert W Griesse the father of
Paul Griesse the one who owned the other truck.
Travis Rios was released by the Red Sox because he was considered an
incorrigible drunk and drug user. He had been arrested several times, and
at least once for drunk driving and once for drug possession. Each time he
was given a pass because he was a baseball player. Finally, and
unfortunately, the Dodge Ram did not give him a pass.

The night of this accident, Rios forced several other vehicles off the road
before crashing head-on and killing Erin Blake.

2 Dead, 3 Hurt in Fiery Beachline Wreck

FROM: Florida Today (April 15th) ~
By Jeff Schweers

Two Brevard County residents are dead and three
others hospitalized following a fiery head-on collision
earlier this morning on the Beachline Expressway
two miles west of Cocoa.

Around 2 a.m., Titusville resident Travis J. Rios, 27,
was driving west in the wrong lane when slammed his
2001 Chrysler Sebring into a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
pickup truck driven by Melbourne resident Amber
DeRoche, 20, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The truck flipped over and caught fire, killing
passenger Erin Blake, 22, of Rockledge. DeRoche
and her two other passengers - Paul Griesse, 24,
and Daniel McDonald, 22, both of Palm Bay -
were taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center.

Rios also died at the scene, investigators said.

DeRoche told investigators she had just glanced down
at her radio and looked back up to see headlights
coming at her moments before Rios ran into her.

No one was wearing a seatbelt, and the victims had no
alcohol in their systems.

An investigation is pending to see if Rios had alcohol
in his system.
---
3 Survivors of Beachline Crash Improve

FROM: Florida Today (April 16th) ~
By Jeff Schweers

Three survivors of a fiery fatal head-on collision on the
Beachline Expressway continue to improve today,
hospital officials said.

Amber DeRoche, 20, and Daniel Mcdonald, 22, were
listed in good condition at Holmes Regional Medical
Center in Melbourne. Paul Griesse, 24, was in fair
condition.

DeRoche was driving McDonald, Griesse and Erin
Blake in a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck east
on the Beachline at 2 a.m. Sunday when they were
struck by Travis Rios, 27, about two miles west of
Cocoa, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Rios was driving west in the eastbound lane in a 2001
Chrysler Sebring when he hit them head-on, troopers
said.

The truck flipped and burst into flames, troopers said.
Rios and Blake died at the scene.
---
Ex-Eustis High Standout Thrived During Big Games

Photo and Stats:
http://www.soxprospects.com/players/rios-travis.htm

FROM: The Orlando Sentinel (April 17th) ~
By Joe Williams, Staff Writer
Posted April 17, 2007

Travis Rios was remembered Monday as a gifted pitcher with a 90 mph
fastball, a fierce competitor, a hard worker and a team leader who was
instrumental in taking Eustis to the 2000 Class 3A state championship.

He dreamed of being a professional baseball player. It was a dream that
became a reality in June 2005 when he signed a free-agent contract with the
Boston Red Sox, pitching in their minor-league organization before being
released last spring.

Rios, 25, of Titusville was killed early Sunday morning in a head-on
collision. Witnesses told the Florida Highway Patrol that Rios was heading
westbound in the eastbound lanes of State Road 528 in a 2001 Chrysler
Sebring when he crashed into a 2006 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Amber
DeRoche, 20.

The pickup flipped and caught fire. Erin Blake, 22, of Rockledge, a
passenger in DeRoche's vehicle, also died at the scene. DeRoche and two
other passengers were taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center.

FHP did not have more details about the cause of the accident.

Rios was drafted by the New York Mets in the 19th round of the 2000 Major
League Baseball Draft, but he didn't sign. He went on to pitch at Palm Beach
Community College (8-3 with a 2.83 earned-run average), Lake-Sumter
Community College (9-2, 2.09 ERA), University of South Florida (6-1, 3.07
ERA) and Lynn University in Boca Raton (4-4, 2.99 ERA) and was 15th in the
nation in NCAA Division II in strikeouts per nine innings with a 10.5
average.

After finishing his college career, Rios signed a free-agent contract with
the Red Sox.

'He didn't have any fear'

"I remember Travis as being an unbelievable competitor," said Paul Niles,
Eustis' assistant baseball coach. "I still have some people tell me that
some of the greatest games they saw Eustis play, he pitched.

"It seemed like the bigger the game, the more Travis got into it. He didn't
have any fear that he couldn't do anything. It seemed like when the
situation arose, he wanted to be on the mound. You can't breed that into
guys. They have to have that in them, and he had it."

Big games called for big-time performances, and Rios rose to those
occasions. One was a one-hitter in a 2-0 victory over Orlando's Bishop Moore
High, which gave Eustis the district championship and started the Panthers'
run through the state playoffs. Another was a 2-1 victory over Marianna, the
defending state champion, in the state semifinal.

"The first thing that comes to my mind about Travis is his degree of
determination," said Bill Miller, a former high-school baseball coach who
was Eustis' principal when Rios was there. "He loves the game of baseball.
He had all the tools, at least on the high-school level. He was instrumental
in getting us that first state championship."

Rios grew up in Leesburg and began his high-school career at Leesburg High
School, where he played on the Yellow Jackets' baseball and football teams.
He transferred to Eustis as a junior.

Rich Billings, now an assistant baseball coach at Lake-Sumter Community
College, remembered going to a baseball camp with Rios when they were
teammates at Leesburg. The two ended up playing together again for the
Central Florida Renegades, an amateur team for players 16 to 18, and at
LSCC.

"We pretty much grew up together," Billings said. "From a baseball
standpoint, when he was out on that mound, he was one of the fiercest
competitors you would ever want to meet. He was also a great guy to be
around. He knew how to relax the other guys on the team.

"I played defense behind him, and there were a couple of times [after his
transfer to Eustis] that I had to hit off of him, and I would much rather
play defense behind him."

LSCC head coach Mike Matulia got to know Rios not only as a player, but also
as his son's teammate. Rios and Matt Matulia played together on Eustis'
team.

In addition to being named first-team all-state in baseball, Rios was named
second-team all-state at LSCC. Matulia said there was no question about
Rios' athletic ability.

Planned to teach, coach

Jason Bornstein, who was in the starting rotation with Rios during the
Panthers' playoff run and who later played at LSCC, said Rios always worked
at the game.

"The biggest thing was his motivation to get better," Bornstein said. "He
definitely affected everyone around him. He just had a real spark to the way
he played. He was definitely a leader of every team he played on.

"I know I am going to miss him."

Randy Hepburn has a different perspective on Rios. He began coaching Rios as
a 10-year-old linebacker on the Falcons in the Leesburg Recreation and Parks
Department's youth football league.

Even at that age, Hepburn said Rios showed traits of being a team leader.
Later, Hepburn coached the freshman football team at Leesburg High School,
and continued to see Rios as a leader.

Though Rios' baseball days may have ended when he was released by the Red
Sox, his godfather, John Cowin, said he may not have been through with the
game.

Rios was planning to finish his bachelor's degree at St. Leo University and
possibly go into teaching and coaching.

"He was such a nice kid," Cowin said. "To me, he epitomized someone who was
dedicated. He was one of those kids who everybody was attracted to. The
thing he really loved was baseball. He always wanted to play pro, and he got
the opportunity to do that."

Rios is survived by his parents, Les and Joann Rios, Titusville, brother
Kyle Rios and sister Julie Grimes.

There will be a service for Rios at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist
Church of Eustis, 3551 E. Orange Ave., followed by a memorial ceremony at
Stuart Cottrell Field (corner of Kurt Street and Golf Links Drive), the home
field of Eustis' baseball team.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a scholarship
fund, established in Rios' name, to the Education Foundation of Lake County,
910 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg, FL 34748.
William Barger
2007-04-27 21:43:39 UTC
Permalink
Mr. Griesse,


I was unaware that Travis was operating his vehicle while intoxicated
until the day of the funeral. Certainly didn't change my feelings for
him. Many thoughts and feeling went thru me when I learned exactly what
is was Travis actually had done. Some things are done that are so far
out of character that a person can scariously believe it to be true.
Travis, like any young person, liked to have a good time, but he always
seemed to make good decisions. I have watched him think things thru at
times when a lot of kids would have just instinctively acted. I find it
so hard to believe he decided to drive while impaired. I certainly don't
condone what he did, but I do find it difficult to be mad at someone
that touched my life in such a positive manner.




Teachers are told upfront and with emphasis to stick with the syllabus.
I was only to teach about agriculture. I cared what happened to my
students. Yes I wanted them to learn all about plants and animals. I
realized all that was being taught to them was absolutely useless if
they did not make it to adulthood. I would say things like " you will
amazed at how fast time goes by", or " Always drive defensively and
sober". Not sure how much stuck. I did have two ex-students come up to
me at the service at the ballpark to thank me for the life lessons I
imparted. I was a pallbearer several times before I finished high
school. Having that happen makes your survival mode ratchet up a notch.
I drove with more care and attention.



I am so sorry that your son was so badly injured in an accident he could
have done nothing to avoid. Of course I certainly hope and pray for
Paul's complete recovery. I realize the psychological scars may never
heal, but I hope he can still get the most out of life.



As a father you must be devastated. You sound like such a loving, strong
father Mr Griesse. Paul will have a better chance at a rich and
rewarding life than a lot of kids because of the solid foundation you
have laid for him. You do not sound bitter which makes you a better man
than I could be; especially at a time like this.



I respectfully ask that you hold no resentment for Travis. I realize
that is asking much in light of what you and your son, and all the
others involved, have gone thru and will continually have to deal with
forever. I know Travis would never have wilfully, knowingly hurt another
human being. I am a little mad at him for making such a stupid,
devastating decision.



Please give Paul my best.



With great respect,
Bill
s***@yahoo.com
2007-04-30 22:30:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Barger
Mr. Griesse,
I was unaware thatTraviswas operating his vehicle while intoxicated
until the day of the funeral. Certainly didn't change my feelings for
him. Many thoughts and feeling went thru me when I learned exactly what
is wasTravisactually had done. Some things are done that are so far
out of character that a person can scariously believe it to be true.Travis, like any young person, liked to have a good time, but he always
seemed to make good decisions. I have watched him think things thru at
times when a lot of kids would have just instinctively acted. I find it
so hard to believe he decided to drive while impaired. I certainly don't
condone what he did, but I do find it difficult to be mad at someone
that touched my life in such a positive manner.
Teachers are told upfront and with emphasis to stick with the syllabus.
I was only to teach about agriculture. I cared what happened to my
students. Yes I wanted them to learn all about plants and animals. I
realized all that was being taught to them was absolutely useless if
they did not make it to adulthood. I would say things like " you will
amazed at how fast time goes by", or " Always drive defensively and
sober". Not sure how much stuck. I did have two ex-students come up to
me at the service at the ballpark to thank me for the life lessons I
imparted. I was a pallbearer several times before I finished high
school. Having that happen makes your survival mode ratchet up a notch.
I drove with more care and attention.
I am so sorry that your son was so badly injured in an accident he could
have done nothing to avoid. Of course I certainly hope and pray for
Paul's complete recovery. I realize the psychological scars may never
heal, but I hope he can still get the most out of life.
As a father you must be devastated. You sound like such a loving, strong
father Mr Griesse. Paul will have a better chance at a rich and
rewarding life than a lot of kids because of the solid foundation you
have laid for him. You do not sound bitter which makes you a better man
than I could be; especially at a time like this.
I respectfully ask that you hold no resentment forTravis. I realize
that is asking much in light of what you and your son, and all the
others involved, have gone thru and will continually have to deal with
forever. I knowTraviswould never have wilfully, knowingly hurt another
human being. I am a little mad at him for making such a stupid,
devastating decision.
Please give Paul my best.
With great respect,
Bill
Bill
I thank you for answering me. At the time I was very angry and was
miss directing my anger. My son is now home, he seems to be doing
better, but it will take some time to heal his wounds mental and
physical. Paul finds himself to be very angry, but doesn't know who to
be angry at. Paul wants to meet Erins parents give them a big hug,
and tell them what a great daughter they had. That she is always in
his thoughts and has a special place in his heart forever. What I
will do to remember Travis is to do everything in my power to stop
other young people from drinking and driving. Our youth are very
special I don't want to lose anymore.
Thank You Robert Griesse
b***@gmail.com
2020-01-10 14:25:19 UTC
Permalink
I was Travis Rios roommate at palm beach CC. Shaun Hansen. He drove drunk all the time and I am lucky I am alive. He was a very great and loyal friend and I miss him everyday though. RIP to everybody involved that lost their life in this. Please teach your kids about the dangers of drinking not just drinking and driving.
Kenny McCormack
2020-01-10 14:29:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@gmail.com
I was Travis Rios roommate at palm beach CC. Shaun Hansen. He drove drunk
all the time and I am lucky I am alive. He was a very great and loyal
friend and I miss him everyday though. RIP to everybody involved that lost
their life in this. Please teach your kids about the dangers of drinking
not just drinking and driving.
Let's be fair here. It's not drinking that's dangerous. It's driving.

Driving is dangerous either with or without drinking.
--
So to cure the problem of arrogant incompetent rich people we should turn
the government over to an arrogant incompetent trust fund billionaire
who knows nothing about government and who has never held a job in his
entire spoiled life?
Adam H. Kerman
2020-01-10 17:44:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenny McCormack
Post by b***@gmail.com
I was Travis Rios roommate at palm beach CC. Shaun Hansen. He drove drunk
all the time and I am lucky I am alive. He was a very great and loyal
friend and I miss him everyday though. RIP to everybody involved that lost
their life in this. Please teach your kids about the dangers of drinking
not just drinking and driving.
Let's be fair here. It's not drinking that's dangerous. It's driving.
In this case, it's willingly being a passenger in the vehicle of an
impaired driver instead of insisting on being the driver one's self.
Post by Kenny McCormack
Driving is dangerous either with or without drinking.
I always thought it was frightening that, what, 3 out of 5 collisions
are caused by driving whilst sober but not looking out the front
windshield.

Loading...