Mother makes it her mission to stop hazing in honor of late son

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It has been three years since Hunterdon County native Timothy Piazza died from injuries he sustained during a hazing incident at Penn State.

In the years since his death, Piazza’s mother Evelyn has made it her mission to put an end to hazing. She brought that message to Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday.

“He was an amazing person who was hazed. And then, once he was hurt and unconscious, was slapped; had a sternum rub done to him and he didn’t react; had beer poured on him; had his shoes thrown at his head,” Evelyn Piazza told the group, while fighting back tears.

Evelyn recounted her son’s last moments at a fraternity party at the college in 2017. Piazza was pledging the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Authorities say that Piazza was extremely intoxicated after being forced to binge drink. He then fell down a flight of stairs, sustaining several severe injuries. No one called him for Piazza until several hours later.

RELATED: Timeline of pledge's harrowing night at Penn State frat 
RELATED: Ex-fraternity house manager sentenced to 2 years' probation 

“It’s such an unnatural way for your child to die and I just can’t, in good conscience, let another family go through this,” Evelyn says. I have to do everything in my power to make it stop.”

Students at Rutgers-Camden says that they have heard of cases of hazing on their campus over time.

"I think that hazing is an all too common occurrence on American campuses,” says senior Maxine Koza. “We're always hearing it on the news and my campus is not unfortunately any different than these campuses. We need to really just make sure that we can combat hazing if possible."

Evelyn’s speech focused on the types of hazing, laws in place and the consequences hazing can have. But what she wants students to take away the most from her speech is, “Always call for help for someone who needs it. Because if somebody had called for help for Tim, I wouldn't be here right now. He would've been saved."

The Piazza family has started a foundation in their son’s honor with the motto, “Live like Tim.”

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