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Notre Dame Student Dies in Video Tower Collapse

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Courtesy Notre Dame Observer

A Notre Dame student died Wednesday while videotaping football practice after the tower he was filming from collapsed from high winds.

Declan Sullivan, 20, a junior from Long Grove, Ill., died at a South Bend hospital after being rushed from the LaBar practice complex, say published reports.

Sullivan’s Tweets described frightening weather conditions as he sat atop the hydraulic scissor lift, a tower that can be lowered or raised as needed.

“Gust of wind up to 60mph well today will be fun at work … I guess I’ve lived long enough :-/,” he posted on his Facebook page via Twitter, shown in an image on the Web site Indy Posted.

His next Tweet was sent at 4:06 p.m. “Holy f– holy f— this is terrifying,” he wrote. The camera tower collapsed at about 4:50 p.m., as winds in the area were gusting 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.”

A Notre Dame player also shared his feelings about the incident. “In the midst of a season where you are disappointed with the outcomes … you can lose sight of what’s most important. Sad day at practice,” senior linebacker Brian Smith posted on his Twitter page. “I will never forget today.”

Authorities were investigating the incident. There will be a Mass said in Sullivan’s memory on Thursday.