Notre Dame student worker before fatal fall: "This is terrifying" (3/14)
March 14, 2011
The death of Notre Dame University student who fell after a scissor lift he was on was toppled by high winds will be the subject of an Indiana Department of Labor news briefing tomorrow.
Indiana OSHA is expected to announce the results of the investigation into the fatal fall of Declan Sullivan, a 20 year-old student who had worked for the school as a videographer for two years. Sullivan was high in the air on a scissor lift on October 27, 2010, videotaping a football practice, when the structure fell. Although first responders from the school’s campus security were on the scene within three minutes, Sullivan stopped breathing en route to a South Bend hospital and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
Referring to the Indiana OSHA investigation after the accident, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said, “There is a lot to learn here, and we will learn it all.” Responding to questions about safety policies, he said: "Every (athletic) program makes it own decisions."
Notre Dame routinely uses two scissor lifts during practice. On the afternoon Sullivan died, wind gusts were up to 51 m.p.h., according to the National Weather Service.
Earlier in the day, Sullivan tweeted about his upcoming work: "Gusts of wind up to 60 m.p.h. well today will be fun at work...I guess I've lived long enough."
But after an hour of working in high winds, his tone turned more serious: "This is terrifying," he said in a message.