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High winds take life of Notre Dame student

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A young man filming Notre Dame football practice in South Bend, Indiana, on a scissor lift was killed when the high wind gusts affecting the area blew over the tower. The deceased is Declan Sullivan, 20, from the northwest side of Chicago. The incident occurred just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday when the entire area in and around the Great Lakes was experiencing exceptionally strong wind gusts in excess of 55 miles per hour.

Sullivan was on top of the scissor lift to take film of the football team during practice. The high winds toppled the tower as he was standing in it with a camera. He was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend and died there from his injuries.

Outstanding student

Sullivan attended Carmel High School where he was an honors student. He graduated from there in 2008. His home town was Long Grove, Illinois. He worked in the video department of the Notre Dame football team.

At the time the tower he was in fell over the winds were gusting steadily at 51 miles per hour. The exact cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

The Great Lakes area has been in the midst of a massive windstorm that some have compared to an inland hurricane. During the day Wednesday the Chicago area received wind gusts near 60 miles per hour. There have been numerous reports of homes and trees being damaged because of the wind. The storm has also set records for lowest barometric readings ever recorded.

The University released a statement saying that they were deeply upset over the death of Sullivan. They indicated he was a well-liked student on campus. As such, they have made grief counseling available to students and faculty. A Mass of Remembrance has also been scheduled for Thursday night at 10 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the university campus.

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