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Tragedy hits Notre Dame as student dies in video tower collapse

Unfortunately, there’s very sobering news coming out of South Bend this evening as a 20-year-old Notre Dame student has been killed in what can only be described as a very tragic and heartbreaking accident.

According to both the South Bend Tribune and the Associated Press, a video tower located at the south end of the football practice field collapsed late this afternoon with the student inside of it.  The initial accounts of the collapse of the tower, which was actually a scissor lift, state that it may have been brought down by high winds, which had been gusting at upwards of 50 mph throughout the day.

The student, who was filming practice at the time of the accident, was transported to a local hospital following the collapse, where he later died.  The name of the student is not being released, pending notification of relatives.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins said in a statement. “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.”

Our sincerest thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the family, friends and anyone else affected by the loss of this young man’s life.

(Writer’s note: it was erroneously reported earlier in the chaos of the day that the student who died was 21; in fact, he was 20, as noted in a correction by the school.  We have edited this post to reflect the young man’s correct age.)

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14 Responses to “Tragedy hits Notre Dame as student dies in video tower collapse”
  1. Hawkeye4life says: Oct 27, 2010 8:09 PM

    First off, My thoughts & prayers go out to the team & the students family.
    2nd off, What in the hell was the team thinking when they had a scissors lift in the up position with the wind blowing like that??? That is just retarded.

  2. WingT says: Oct 27, 2010 8:26 PM

    condolences to the ND nation. Makes me realize what is really important

  3. pudgalvin says: Oct 27, 2010 8:28 PM

    I live in Chicago and on my way home from work I saw an 8 foot tall brick wall that at a 100 foot section of it blown in. Never seen wind quite like we’re having right now.
    This was a horrible, horrible decision and there is going to be a gigantic law suit following quite quickly.

  4. RunningOutOfCommentNames says: Oct 27, 2010 8:29 PM

    Well said Hawkeye….With 50 mph gusts reported throughout the day. why on earth would they have a scissorlift up at all?….It makes zero sense…Scissorslifts are portable, they don’t provide much stability indoors, much less out doors in high winds…….Condolences to the family for a senselsss tragedy….

  5. edgy1957 says: Oct 27, 2010 8:51 PM

    A tragedy that reminds me of the Texas A&M collapse. Condolences to his friends and family.

  6. NoCall says: Oct 28, 2010 12:47 AM

    Negligent Homicide.
    Confess the guilt ND, and resolve with the family in a Christian way. Fire or reassign the guilty staffer who ordered the boy’s death, even if it’s the head coach.
    Otherwise, I hope you lose half of your endowment and don’t you dare call us in your annual fundraising.
    Accept your guilt and do the right thing.

  7. DreadedOne says: Oct 28, 2010 11:03 PM

    This is absolutely horrible. Who authorizes a scissor-lift in 50 mph winds? Brian Kelly was a coward when he left Cincinnati. Let’s see how he follows it up now. I hope whatever useless crap video was worth it coach because it cost a kid his life. As the kid’s twitter posts show, he was terrified up there. Great going ND. Way to go.

  8. Swarbrick won’t ask for Kelly’s resignation | CollegeFootballTalk says: Nov 4, 2010 11:44 AM

    [...] Roughly 20 minutes after posting “Holy (expletive) holy (expletive) this is terrifying” on Twitter, the lift collapsed due to the high winds and sent Sullivan to his death. [...]

  9. Notre Dame tragedy cries out for answers | ProFootballTalk says: Nov 11, 2010 1:58 AM

    [...] haven’t felt completely right since learning about the death of Declan Sullivan, the 20-year-old Notre Dame student who died Wednesday when the tower from which he was filming [...]

  10. Student’s death leads Irish to ditch lifts for filming practice | CollegeFootballTalk says: Mar 8, 2011 11:14 AM

    [...] Posted by John Taylor on March 8, 2011, 11:14 AM EST Five months after a hydraulic lift accident tragically claimed the life of a student, Notre Dame has decided to stop using the machines to film practices, the Associated Press is [...]

  11. OSHA report on Notre Dame student’s death coming this week | CollegeFootballTalk says: Mar 13, 2011 5:43 PM

    [...] It was reported last week that Notre Dame would be following through on its pledge in the wake of the tragic death of Declan Sullivan and banned the use of hydraulic lifts for filming football [...]

  12. OSHA fines Notre Dame $77,500 over student’s death | CollegeFootballTalk says: Mar 15, 2011 12:15 PM

    [...] Safety and Health Administration released its findings from a four-month investigation into the death of videographer Declan Sullivan Tuesday morning.  And, as expected, the school was found to have [...]

  13. Notre Dame issues responses to OSHA report | CollegeFootballTalk says: Mar 15, 2011 3:11 PM

    [...] found that the school committed six “serious violations” that directly contributed to Sullivan’s death, which occurred when the hydraulic lift from which he was filming practice toppled over in high [...]

  14. Fine levied against Irish in wake of student’s death reduced | CollegeFootballTalk says: Jul 1, 2011 12:25 PM

    [...] a head-scratcher that Notre Dame would openly welcome negative PR by appealing a fine stemming from the death of a student, said appeal has proven successful and the private university’s coffers will take a little [...]

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