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Archive for Monday, April 27, 2009

Alcohol may have been factor in death of KU student who fell from roof

A preliminary autopsy report indicates a KU student who died after falling from the top of a dorm Friday had been drinking.

April 27, 2009, 2:58 p.m. Updated April 27, 2009, 4:57 p.m.

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Kansas University freshman Dalton Hawkins was found dead outside Watkins Scholarship Hall on Friday.

Kansas University freshman Dalton Hawkins was found dead outside Watkins Scholarship Hall on Friday.

A preliminary coroner’s report indicates that a Kansas University student who died Friday from a fall had been drinking alcohol.

Dalton Eli Hawkins, an 18-year-old Shawnee freshman, died from injuries to his head and chest after he fell from the three-story roof of Watkins Scholarship Hall, according to the report signed by Dr. Altaf Hossain, a deputy coroner.

Hossain has ruled the death an accident.

A resident director of the women’s scholarship hall, 1506 Lilac Lane, found Hawkins’ body at 8 a.m. Friday. Hawkins lived at Ellsworth Hall, which is on Daisy Hill, near 15th and Iowa streets.

One of his Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity brothers said last week that Hawkins went on a bus trip to Kansas City on Thursday night, where there had been some drinking as the bus left Lawrence.

According to the coroner’s report, a preliminary urine drug test was “presumptively positive for alcohol.”

A spokeswoman for the coroner’s office said on Monday that a more complete autopsy report would be finished in several weeks. Capt. Schuyler Bailey, of the KU Public Safety Office, said Monday that investigators were still trying to determine whether there was a connection between the death and a 2 a.m. report of a broken window at the hall.

Comments

d_prowess 5 years, 7 months ago

Has there been any report as to why he was on the roof? Did he know someone at the house?

Graczyk 5 years, 7 months ago

How many windows are there on a roof, Newell_Post?

d_prowess 5 years, 7 months ago

I am more curious to know if he was there with anyone. I am guessing no since it was not reported right away. But did he at least know some people there?

Danimal 5 years, 7 months ago

I would guess that in light of the tragedy and all, he wasn't visiting anyone because they most likely would have come forward. Maybe they did and it just hasn't been released yet? It seems like we're having a lot of alcohol related deaths amongst the underage. I'm not a libertarian who suggests that we let everyone drink, but I will suggest that maybe we should try and change the culture surrounding youth and alcohol instead of just chalking this up to "kids being kids."

geekin_topekan 5 years, 7 months ago

Either way, who wants to make a wager on whether his parents sue the university for negligence? As in.. "The university should have known that youths would climb on top of three story buildings at 2am...gross negligence"

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 7 months ago

I had a few dumb moves in my youth that I lived to tell about later, Sadly this young man made a mistake he couldn't live to tell about. Very sad!

middlemgmt 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm so sorry to the family and friends of this young man. I can't imagine what the parents are going through!

newsreader 5 years, 7 months ago

My guess as to why he was on the roof?

He was visiting a lady friend there, stayed past curfew, and had to sneak out

KSChick1 5 years, 7 months ago

newsreader: they don't have to sneak out, this isn't the animal house dorms you remember. As one of the girls living in Watkins pointed out, all you have to do is escort your "guest" out when they leave.

so your guess? FAIL. Thanks for playing though.

KSChick1 5 years, 7 months ago

newsreader: they don't have to sneak out, this isn't the animal house dorm you remember. As one of the girls living in Watkins pointed out, all you have to do is escort your "guest" out when they leave.

so your guess? FAIL. Thanks for playing though.

tenziewenzie 5 years, 7 months ago

Ya know! No one really knows what happen until someone comes forward. If there is anyone to come forward. Everyone say's what they think happen. People do not stop to think about the parents reading these comments. I work for KU and I know that there is way to much drinking among young adults, but that is something that needs to be taken care of by them. Once they drink to much they really do not know right from wrong at that point. They do things they would never do sober. I send best wishes to the family of this young man. May god be with you!

frankfussman 5 years, 7 months ago

I think he may have been up on the fire escape, perhaps breaking the window in the back. When the police came, he climbed up on the roof to escape detection, and later fell down onto the ground.

maveric 5 years, 7 months ago

I have a police scanner and to prove ALLOT of KU kids that drink from Thursday Night to Sunday morning is quite out of league. What I am meaning is there is SOOOOOO many calls related to alcohol poisoning incidents its not funny and 98% come from all dorms along Iowa Street. If you don't believe me buy a police scanner and you will see the amount of calls the Fire Departments go to just freshmen alone its really sad.

I don't drink and I am 38 and I stress to my friends who do drink if you need a ride call me as I rather see you safe than sorry. Its sad peeps do this crap but what can you do when they get it anyways. I say start going after those who are legal to buy it and start punishing them to the fullest IMO!!!!!!!

Best wishes to the whole family and friends of this young kid who had a whole life to live and I'll keep you in my prayers....

Connacht 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm not a libertarian who suggests that we let everyone drink, but I will suggest that maybe we should try and change the culture surrounding youth and alcohol instead of just chalking this up to “kids being kids.”

Then the best thing you can do is to stop demonizing alcohol and treating it like a forbidden fruit. A huge part of the allure of drinking underage is that you're not supposed to and a feeling that you're opposing an unjust law restricting your freedom of choice as an adult.

Eurekahwk 5 years, 7 months ago

What is it with Lawrence, KU, and drunken idiots falling off roofs? Seriously, from the time I was in L-town from 99-05, there must have been like 4 or 5 people I can think of off the top of my head. Heck of it is, I knew two of them! And they weren't exactly pre-med. I realize that alcohol seems to be conducive to getting up on restricted areas, I myself got up on Ellsworth in the middle of the night when it was being renovated and it had openings on the back end. Great view, but I didn't fall ten stories. Point is, if you are going to get drunk and climb up on high places, stay away from the edge.

Newell_Post 5 years, 7 months ago

Research proves that your average 18 year old college student physically can't drink enough 3.2 beer to kill himself. I know. I tried, and it was legal at the time. Get quite drunk, yes. Die from alcohol poisoning, usually no. 3.2 beer should be legal for college students again.

gphawk89 5 years, 7 months ago

"investigators were still trying to determine whether there was a connection between the death and a 2 a.m. report of a broken window at the hall"

The broken window was on the top-floor door of the fire escape, right? To get onto the roof of a scholarship hall (at least the older ones), you open the top-floor fire escape door, step onto the escape railing, step onto the push handle on the inside side of the door, then holding the edge of the roof for balance, step on the top of the door, and then onto the roof. He probably hit his knee on one of the panes and broke it.

He probably didn't think to jam the door open and it closed by itself, then he fell trying to find an alternate route down.

Case solved.

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