Notre Dame Student Killed In Tower Collapse

Ind. OSHA probes death of Notre Dame videographer.

 

 
 
 

TOM COYNE, Associated Press | | Thursday, October 28, 2010

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Notre Dame Student Fatality

Student killed while taping football practice.
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Indiana's workplace safety agency said Thursday it was investigating the death of a Notre Dame student who was videotaping football practice when the tower he was in fell over.

Declan Sullivan, a 20-year-old junior from Long Grove, Ill., died Wednesday at a South Bend hospital after being transported from the LaBar practice complex.

The National Weather Service said winds in the area were gusting to 51 mph at the time when the hydraulic scissor lift, which can be lowered or raised depending on needs, toppled. The football team had practiced indoors on Tuesday because of the blustery conditions caused by a fierce storm that swept through the region.

The university did not return calls seeking comment on Wednesday, and it was not clear who authorized Sullivan to go up in the scissor lift to videotape Wednesday's practice.

It also was not clear who made the scissor lift. But one manufacturer of scissor lifts, HHS Wire, said on its website that the device should not be used in winds above 25 mph.

Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesman Marc Lotter said Thursday the agency had an investigator on the scene in South Bend. He said it was too early to say when the agency, which has the authority to levee fines, might release a report.

"Declan was a diligent student worker in our video department and had a tremendous personality and great sense of humor," Coach Brian Kelly said Wednesday in a release. "He brightened the days for all that had the privilege to work with him, and the Notre Dame football family will dearly miss him."

Notre Dame was making grief counselors available for students, and university president Rev. John Jenkins will preside over a special Mass in Sullivan's memory on Thursday.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss," Jenkins said. "Our hearts go out to the student's family and friends and our prayers and profound sympathies are with them during this incredibly difficult time. The loss of someone so young is a terrible shock and a great sadness. Our entire community shares in the family's grief."

The Fighting Irish, who host Tulsa this Saturday, canceled post-practice interviews after Wednesday's accident.

"In the midst of a season where you are disappointed with the outcomes ... you can lose sight of what's most important. Sad day at practice," senior linebacker Brian Smith posted on his Twitter page on Wednesday. "I will never forget today."
 



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Notre Dame Student Fatality

Gallery 1

Notre Dame Student Fatality

Notre Dame personnel examine a location where a tower used to video Notre Dame football practice blew over on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, in South Bend, Ind. School spokesman John Heisler confirmed a person was on the structure, but their condition was not immediately disclosed. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)


Gallery 1

Notre Dame Student Fatality

Notre Dame personnel examine a location where a tower used to videotape Notre Dame football practice blew over on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, in South Bend, Ind. A Notre Dame student died in the accident. The school says the 21-year-old man was filming practice when the hydraulic scissor lift fell over. He was transported to a South Bend hospital, where he later died. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)


Gallery 1

Notre Dame Student Fatality

Notre Dame personnel examine a location where a tower used to video Notre Dame football practice blew over on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, in South Bend, Ind. School spokesman John Heisler confirmed a person was on the structure, but their condition was not immediately disclosed. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)


Gallery 1

Notre Dame Student Fatality

Notre Dame emergency personnel examine a location where a tower used to video Notre Dame football practice fell over Wednesday Oct. 27, 2010, in South Bend, Ind. A Notre Dame student died Wednesday after the tower from which he was filming fell over. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)


Gallery 1

Notre Dame Student Fatality

Notre Dame emergency personnel examine a location where a tower used to video Notre Dame football practice fell over Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, in South Bend, Ind. A Notre Dame student died Wednesday after the tower from which he was filming fell over. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)


Gallery 1

Notre Dame Student Fatality

Notre Dame emergency personnel examine a location where a tower used to video Notre Dame football practice fell over Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, in South Bend, Ind.A Notre Dame student died Wednesday after the tower from which he was filming football practice fell over. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)



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