Grapeland ISD relives former band director's death

GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - Students and staff at Grapeland ISD are reliving the tragedy of learning about the death of former band director Perry Frank.

In June of 2017, Frank died unexpectedly after a successful heart bypass procedure.

The Tyler Police Department stated that Frank could be the second death attributed to former Nurse William George Davis.

Davis is accused of tampering with multiple patients' arterial lines while working as a nurse at a hospital in Tyler. That part of the investigation hasn't wrapped yet.

Students and staff are left with many questions.

"Why would someone do that?" asked student Ashton Harris.

About 100 Grapeland band students crowded in the band hall this morning to hear shocking news.

"We felt like it was better to get in front of the situation instead of being behind it," said Superintendent Don Jackson.

By family accounts, Frank had a successful open heart surgery on June 20, 2017, but died suddenly two days later while in recovery.

"There are several kids that are kind of in shock," said band director Becky Keisling. "Then the questions are all back of why this happened kind of thing."

Keisling, said her students are reliving the pain all over again.

"We thought we were overcoming it and moving on, and now it's back up in the middle right in front of us again, so one more challenge to rise up to," Keisling said.

Jackson said they will continue rising up by taking it one day at a time.

"We told them to help each other because most of the time they know about each other first before we know if someone is struggling," Jackson said.

Even though students and staff are struggling with the latest news, they're holding on to memories to get through hard times.

"He was a good band director I'd like to say. He would always come out in his little, short khaki shorts and he would just be walking around the field , and it was so funny," Harris said.

An arrest affidavit states five patients suffered significant injury and two patients, including Frank, died.

Davis is in the Smith County Jail on one charge of murder.
The Tyler Police Department said more charges are expected.

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