While videotaping a football practice during a wind storm, a 20-year-old Notre Dame junior died Wednesday after the tower where he was filming from collapsed underneath him.
Declan Sullivan, a junior from Long Grove, Ill., was rushed from the LaBar practice complex to a South Bend hospital, but later died from his injuries, according to news reports.
Sullivan worked with the Notre Dame football squad in the video department. As wild storms passed through the Midwest Wednesday, Sullivan’s Tweets described the frightening conditions. “Gust of wind up to 60mph well today will be fun at work … I guess I’ve lived long enough :-/,” he joked at 3:22 p.m., just as practice was getting started.
His next message was posted at 4:06 p.m. as the young man was frozen with fear. “Holy f— holy f— this is terrifying,” he wrote. About 20 minutes later, Sullivan’s camera tower collapsed, crashing through a fence 30 feet below as winds in the area gusted to 51 m.p.h.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Declan’s family and friends,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “Declan was a diligent student worker in our video department and had a tremendous personality and great sense of humor. He brightened the days for all that had the privilege to work with him, and the Notre Dame football family will dearly miss him.”
Senior linebacker Brian Smith posted his thoughts to his own Twitter page, noting it had been a “sad day at practice.”
“In the midst of a season where you are disappointed with the outcomes … you can lose sight of what’s most important,” Smith wrote. “I will never forget today.”
Authorities are reportedly investigating the incident. A campus Mass was said in Sullivan’s memory on Thursday.