Miami University student dies after fall from cell tower

A 20-year-old Miami University student is dead after climbing and falling from Williams Hall Tower last week, according to university police.

The sophomore majoring in university studies from Seoul, Korea, and Beijing, China, fell from about 70 feet, according to Miami University Police Chief John McCandless.

The cell tower is more than 350 feet high and surrounded by a fence, the chief said. The student climbed the fence to gain access to the tower.

The incident happened about 3:45 p.m. Thursday and was witnessed by at least two people. The university was on spring break last week.

McCandless said an investigation is ongoing to determine if the incident was an accident or if the student jumped. The student was pronounced dead at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.

A Butler County Coroner’s report listed the mode and manner of death for the student as “pending.” Lab tests results are needed before making a determination, according to Martin Schneider, coroner’s office administrator.

“Our hearts go out to the family for such a tragedy,” McCandless said.

Mike Curme, associate vice president and dean of students, posted an announcement about the student’s death to the university intranet on Saturday.

“The loss of anyone in our community affects all of us. We hope that you will not hesitate to take advantage of any resources that you need, and take care of yourselves and each other in the coming weeks,” he stated in the letter.

He added there are many places for students to find support on and off the Miami University campus, including:

  • Student Counseling Services, 195 Health Services Center, 513-529-4634
  • Dean of Students, 110 Warfield Hall, 513-529-1877
  • Residence Life staff (located in each residence hall building)
  • International Students and Scholars Office, 214 MacMillan Hall, 513-529-5628

Resources for all community members include:

  • Butler County 24-hour mental health hotline, 844-427-4747
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

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