Coroner: Notre Dame student’s death was accident

Associated Press

South Bend, Ind. — A University of Notre Dame senior’s death the day before his graduation was an accident when he fell 35 feet from the roof of a campus sports arena, the St. Joseph County coroner has ruled.

Coroner Chuck Hurley said Monday that an autopsy found William Meckling, 21, of Centennial, Colorado, died of multiple blunt-force injuries “consistent with an elevated fall.” Meckling died early Saturday after he and a group climbed onto the Joyce Center’s roof in South Bend, authorities said. Paramedics couldn’t revive him when he was found on the ground at about 3:45 a.m. near the arena’s Gate 7.

Meckling was to graduate Sunday. He majored in mechanical engineering and was on the university fencing team. The school held a memorial Mass for Meckling on Monday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

“He was a really good friend and a really good teammate and someone I have greatly admired my four years here,” fencing teammate Ashley Severson said.

Notre Dame officials say they’re still investigating the death and reports that students have tried to access the building’s roof in the past. School officials said it is too soon to know if any additional safety measures would be taken.

The coroner says toxicology results won’t be available for about six weeks.