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October 27, 2010
Twenty-year-old Notre Dame junior Declan Sullivan died Wednesday when a video tower collapsed amidst high winds during the football team's afternoon practice. The accident occurred at approximately 4:50 p.m. Winds had been gusting up to 51 miles per hour according to the national weather service.
Sullivan was transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where he later died. The University did not release the student's name initially, pending notification of family members. Sullivan's name was released shortly before 9:30 p,m.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Declan's family and friends," said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly in a statement. "Declan was a diligent student worker in our video department and had a tremendous personality and great sense of humor. He brightened the days for all that had the privilege to work with him, and the Notre Dame football family will dearly miss him."
The hydraulic scissor lift fell in the north end of Notre Dame's practice facility, where it is typically positioned in the end zone. It crashed over the fence onto the adjacent street, which borders the Guglielmino Center and tennis courts. Police quickly taped off the scene and the University announced that an investigation is pending.
"No words can convey the shock and grief we all are experiencing," said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame's president. "Declan was a well-liked, bright and enthusiastic film and marketing student and a valued member of the Notre Dame family. His death is a tremendous loss that will be felt very deeply and we share in your grief during this incredibly difficult time.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss. 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."
Winds have been strong around campus during the week, prompting Kelly to move practice indoors for the first time all season on Tuesday when morning storms also hit South Bend. The Irish returned outside on Wednesday under sunny skies.
The University will gather Thursday for a Mass of Remembrance at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 10 p.m.
Notre Dame NEWS