What horrible news. ND Student filming practice dies when wind topples tower he was in
What horrible news. ND Student filming practice dies when wind topples tower he was in
God bless him and his family.
I am horrified at what that poor kid must have felt. I have had nightmares about being at the top of a tower or tree or building when it falls over. Awful.
I saw the initial report on espn.com about the accident but thought the student had relatively light injuries. Terrible.
Here is some more info from ESPN, still no in-depth investigation has been performed.
I just read the article on ESPN, and Brian Kelly made a statement that his thoughts are with the family, blah blah blah. It is ultimately his call to put that kid up there in those conditions and then, if the rumors are true, to continue to practice after the incident. I would think he is probably upset by what happened, as you would have to be a monster not to be, but I found myself offended hearing him talk about this poor kid and his family, when he is directly responsible for this happening. I am a safety director in the construction field and to put anyone up in a lift like that in winds even half as strong as are being reported is borderline criminal. This could get really ugly before it is all over.
I'm going to hold off on putting this one on Kelly. I'm no fan of his, but I don't think the head coach is directly involved in decisions like this. If it turns out that the staff is to blame, then he might be the one to take the fall, but I doubt that he directly ordered him to go up there despite the wind.
But you're right in that it could get ugly before it's all over. State authorities are already investigating the incident. There's no question that this kid shouldn't have been up there in that kind of weather, so if he didn't go up by his own choice, heads will roll.
It is a bit weak to suggest that BK is not responsible unless he told the kid to go up. I assume BK was at practice along with most of his assistant coaches when this happened. It is staggering to think that not one of them had enough common sense to realize that it might not be safe for a person to be 50 feet up in a portable lift filming practice in 40 mph winds. As soon as BK (or any senior member of the staff, for that matter) stepped on the practice field and saw tower(s) up on such a dangerous day, he should have told the video team to get those people down or at least questioned whether it was safe for them to be up there. This was so unnecessary and avoidable it makes me ill just thinking about it.
You never like to hear stories like this. My thoughts and prayers to the student's family. Hopefully those close to the individual can take solace in that the student passed on while doing something they love and being a part of a historic and world-class university and football program.
It was really windy here yesterday (and we had some tornado warnings), but it wasn't that windy today. Seems like just a freak thing.
Our thoughts are with the student and his family.
Reports were that wind gusts were around 55mph, with sustained winds around 40mph at the time. It is what the guys on 960am were stating. Tragic event, no matter the circumstances.
Yea I'm not sure what Blue in South Bend is talking about, it is windy as crap in south bend today. I took my dog on a walk and walking into the wind was ridiculous, you almost couldn't do it. I've seen the big lifts they go up on. Some of them are anchored into the ground, some are not. That one was not. I have no clue why you would have someone up on one that wasn't anchored on a day like today.
I haven't been out of basement of the law school since before noon, so I guess I was basing my comments on the weather from this morning. Shows what I know.
Yeah, I am in Chicago, which is obviously just down the interstate, and as i was driving today around 6:30 pm, I heard this on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. My first thought, no joke, was "why the FUCK was he up in the tower on a day like this?" I mean, that is just absurd. I was walking downtown at 3:30 pm today (which is probably right around the time they're practicing in South Bend), and on the ground, there were gusts that were so strong they made it almost impossible to walk, and I weight 200 pounds. There really is no excuse for the kid being up there on a day like today. And when I say "no excuse," I'm not blaming the deceased. This is such a shame, and so preventable. Hey, guess what: for one day, when it's blowing like mad, the day after a storm that saw a woman impaled in her car from a tree branch, perhaps maybe we don't need the kid climbing that shitty tower to film your shitty team practice. Ridiculous that he was up there.
It's just hard to believe how little they thought about this kid's safety - and then continued practice after the accident. No way Kelly should coach another game there - or anywhere else. Obviously he's not the only one to blame.
To be fair, it is the Windy City...
Tragic. God bless his family and friends.
That's very very sad.
but the title belittles the fact that a young man was killed in a tragic accident. His "luck" has nothing to do with it.
May God rest his soul.
Luck shouldn't be part of this post. Just tragic.
It's about an Irish student nonetheless.
it's been changed
According to ND nation, here's what his facebook status was that day:
"Gusts of wind up to 60mph well today will be fun at work... I guess I've lived long enough :-/"
"Holy fuck holy fuck this is terrifying"
Someone is going to get in a lot of trouble for this in the athletic department. Rest in peace, young man.
May he rest in peace.
Holy cow, if that is real, that's one of the saddest things ever.
I'm sorry if this offends anyone; I don't intend to belittle this tragedy in any way. I just want to tell you my honest reaction. Put yourself in this kid's shoes for a second. You know the weather report. You know it's dangerous. Your job is some kind of internship filming football practice.
Before you even report to work, you know that to do your job today will be life-threatening. This kid evidences that knowledge with facebook meta. Then when you report to work, you're terrified. Again, the kid trascribes his thoughts on facebook.
My gut reaction, MGoBlog Community: is it your priority to be on that "terrifying" tower, knowing it may kill you, and tweet about it?
Honestly folks, I want to know how you ever put yourself in that position, and who failed in his/her job teaching risk/reward to this kid. I'm not the smartest human in the world by a long shot, but there is no way in hell I'm standing on a rickety platform in 60 mph windgusts to film a football practice, knowing it could kill me to the point I'm terrified. NOT A CHANCE. It's the simplest of analyses. Benefit: football team gets bird's view film to study tomorrow. Risk: YOUR LIFE. Analysis over.
I tell the media director sorry, we're filming from the field today. Put it on someone in your department with authority. If you want me to risk my life for this, Athletic Department, it's on you. Unless you're a soldier, a cop or a fire-fighter, no job is worth your life.
I have no doubt this young man was a smart kid who took initiative and had a promising future. Of course I'm praying for his soul and his family in their time of tragedy. But this is one that boggles my mind.
Your post doesn't offend me because it is a logical thought and from a third person perspective makes a lot of sense. However, as a safety director, I can tell you that it doesn't work that way in the real world. People will put themselves into all sorts of situations because they don't want to be the guy too scared to do his job. If he is directly pressured to do something dangerous under threat of losing his job, his employer would be guilty of a willful offense and could face jail time. More common, though, is the indirect pressure of not wanting to be perceived as a coward. This would be especially true if there were multiple towers set up and multiple people in them. Each of the people are probably scared, but no one wants to be the one to say something so none of them do.
Look, you're 20 years old, you have a job that a lot of kids would give their eyeteeth to have, and you're working in the service of a storied college program. I can completely understand why it might be hard to stand up to the head staff and say "no, I'm not doing this today" even when your senses are telling you it's foolish to proceed.
We can argue all day about what he should have done or whom he should have said no to, but why go there?
I think young people often have a tendency to think, "no, that can't really happen to me". The fact that he joked about it on Twitter might indicate that he didn't actually expect anything to happen and that he was simply making light of what he saw as just some stressful working conditions. If he really, actually, sincerely thought that he might be putting himself in danger by going up there, he probably wouldn't have done it. The reality is that college students often don't have the perspective on life and mortality that only years of experience can instill.
Obviously, you know nothing about this line of work or the people who do it. A young kid working for a football program like this most likely has a just-get-it-done attitude, a ton of guts and would rather be tarred and feathered before admitting he was too scared to get up that lift.
I tell the media director sorry, we're filming from the field today. Put it on someone in your department with authority. If you want me to risk my life for this, Athletic Department, it's on you.
I'm guessing the kid figured it wasn't his call, and that he might lose his job (or at least get chewed out and cause a scene) if he asked not to go up.
There's a nice post on NDNation about this:
Wow. That is outrageous...so sad. My prayers go out to his family.
Condolences to his family. This was a senseless death.
Rest in Peace young man... rest in peace.
Apparently, the decision on whether to film practice or not rests on the head coach and the coordinators... Kelly and his staff could be in a world of trouble.
Such a tragedy... and it could've been easily avoided.
To be honest this was not a "freak accident". This was negligence by the ND staff. They should have known that these towers were not safe to lift up to full height with these kind of wind gusts.
I am in complete agreement. And this is absolutely, positively negligence. Their only defense would be "assumption of risk," and they may say they asked the kid if he wanted to go up there, but that defense would be so incredibly weak in this instance. And they don't want a case like this going to trial if/(when) there's a lawsuit.
I am legitimately angry about this. Living in Chicago, and being outside today, I am in fucking disbelief that they'd put anyone up in this type of tower on a day like this. I mean, it is so blatantly ludicrous.
And then you read the kid's twitter posts, and it is just so, so sad. I mean, seriously, whoever made "the call" to have the kid in the tower today deserves a serious, serious penalty, and not just getting fired. Your negligence leads to a death of a fellow employee/volunteer? Yeah, you're out. Even if you're the head coach.
going to get done in 50-60 mph winds that is going to help you on game day? Go inside and practice ball security - the team will get as much accomplished. Not being there is not knowing - but the fact that practice continued (all I know is what I read - which may not be real) ... that goes beyond negligence.
Big change/consequences ahead for ND. Hopefully all programs will heed this tragedy with change.
Oh my God.
Just wow. Thank you for posting.
The guy who hit "Like" probably feels pretty horrible, btw.
This really could go bad for Kelly too.... The facebook post from someone named Kent Rieger looks like it's advising Declan to tell someone about his concerns: "tell brian kelly that, or someone who....."
It was clearly acknowledged as a big risk by multiple clear-thinking people.
That's his twitter obviously. Sad as hell.
These winds were not freak and were not surprising. They came from my (MN) way; we had them two days ago. I'm saddened and angry at the moment; I guess I hope that we learn there was some extenuating circumstance. At the moment, it sounds like a case of backwards priorities writ large.
Having filmed high school games in that sort of lift, I'm shocked anyone thought it was a good idea to send him up in the lift in that weather. That this could have been prevented by a modicum of good judgment makes it even more tragic.
The football practice field is on my way home, so without even thinking about it I drove by. I saw the lift. And I got pissed.
I can tell you that when all of the information comes out about this, it will make you want to hit someone with a baseball bat. From what I saw, that kid was EASILY 25-30 feet in the air, and possibly much higher (I didn't care to look for too long). How anyone could look at that situation in 60 mph winds and put a 20-year-old up there is beyond me.
Agreed... and I find it unlikely a 20 year old would stand up for his safety and have the lift lowered.
I hope the investigation gives us a better idea of who we should be pointing fingers at.
Very unfortunate; may God have mercy on him and grant strength and patience to his family and to ND nation.
There are very few things that can make me feel sympathy for Notre Dame, but this is one of them.
This was such a senseless, avoidable tragedy. Very, very sad. Rest in peace young man. God bless him and his family.
Seeing what he posted on twitter just breaks my heart. That is so tragic and sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Declan's family can sue ND's pants off. Winds were gusting at 50+ mph and scissor lifts shouldn't be used in winds of 25 mph or more.
According to WSBT meteorologist Rick Mecklenburg, the highest winds of the day occurred just before 5 p.m. The peak wind gust at that time was 53 mph. The highest sustained wind was just under 40 mph.
Making matters worse, the corridor just north of the Joyce Center became a wind tunnel of sorts.
United Rentals provided the equipment to Notre Dame, but it is not the manufacturer. Websites of manufacturers and distributors of similar pieces warn of raising the platform in high winds.
In fact, HHS Hire, a company that deals in lifts, specifically states that the lift should never be used in wind speeds greater than 25 mph.
Negligence and lack of training. Whoever was responsible for the use of the lift should have made all operators (including this kid) aware of all safety warnings and cautions. Having been an aircraft maintenance officer in the AF in Wichita, KS (windiest damn city in the world), I always made sure my troops knew the limitations for all lifts, stands, and ladders in the wind. From that perspective, this is especially frustrating. Condolences to family and friends.
It's absolutely negligent. I'm so sorry for the family and I hope they sue the hell out of the Notre Dame AD. Utility companies and construction companies don't let peope go up in those cherry-pickers or the little scissor lifts if winds exceed a certain point.
There is no excuse for this. Just an awful story.
That poor kid. A boss (in this case a coach) MUST look out for the safety of their subordinate and err on the side of caution. His posts clearly indicate he knew what they were asking him to do was very, very dangerous. I agree with the previous posters that the punishment for this should extend past losing one's job. I will keep his family in my prayers.
I disagree about it being a freak accident. The winds were known, and the student's supervisor and the coach chose to risk his life for some video.
If RichRod had done this I would be demanding he be fired, along with the AD. Of course I thnk ND needs to fire both, now, and force the new head coach to complete 50 hours of safety training.
is max for that lift and with him standing in it its over 40. No way does anybody want to be that high with that kind of wind. I have worked off of many of those and if was windy at all we were down and looking for something to do at the ground level. RIP young man!
Sad sad story and it was negligent for the ND to allow someone in a scissor lift with those winds. Hell they stayed indoors on Tuesday b/c of the high wind and at least where I live the wind was worse yesterday than Tuesday.
Prayers to the family and friends
My house is just a couple blocks east of the stadium. Winds have been insane for the last couple days. This was so stupidly avoidable, it's just tragic.
f he is directly pressured to do something dangerous under threat of losing his job, his employer would be guilty of a willful offense and could face jail time. More common, though, is the indirect pressure of not wanting to be perceived as a coward.
Exactly. And this is why it's important for an employer to make sure his or her employees are safe. YOU are responsible for their well-being because of the economic pressures they feel.
ND will most likely be found liable, as well they should. There is no excuse for this to happen. It amazes me, with all the education and information concerning safety, things like this still happen.
My prayers to the family.
I'm sorry to send this back to the top of the board
but it just makes me so sad
I can only hope and pray that Declan's parents can overcome their grief, somehow, eventually...I don't know how you can have your child taken away and live through it, but I am praying they will succeed
God Bless You Declan
I can't even fathom what he was doing up there with winds that strong. I live about thirty minutes away from South Bend and it was so windy you wouldn't have gotten me up on a six foot step ladder at gunpoint.
Not sure if someone posted this already or not, but get this: Notre Dame finished their practice after he fell to his death...
Let's not make it worse with apparently false claims. Plenty of reports I'm reading place Kelly WITH the kid while first responders tended to him, and that when Kelly returned to the practice fields, practice was ended. To suggest that practice went on like "business as usual" after this tragedy is just fanning the flames and, according to at least a few eyewitness reports, completely false.
RIP Declan, and peace to his family in time.
That information came from WNDU's website, which is Notre Dames flagship station.
If it turns out to be false then I will retract the statement.
"The tragedy happened as with about 40 minutes left in Notre Dame's practice for the day. Practice stopped for a period, but did resume."
Presumably, Sullivan had to sign the document on page 13 of this PDF. There is a disturbingly ominous typo in the first paragraph:
I acknowledge that the University will not provide training for use of the Lift, that the University has available operating instructions for the life I wish to use, and warrant that I have sufficient training, knowledge and experience to operate it safely.
That's a nice bit if research. Very eerie.