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Notre Dame student falls off sports arena roof, dies one day before graduation

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Photo credit: WSBT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (May 16, 2015) — The 21-year-old Notre Dame student who died early this morning has been identified.

William Meckling was discovered dead around 3:45 a.m., according to WSBT.

Notre Dame University sent a release stating Meckling climbed up on the roof of the Joyce Center early Saturday morning with a small group of students. The roof was wet and he fell off the building. When emergency crews arrived he was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

Meckling was set to graduate this weekend.

The University of Notre Dame  released this statement:

William Meckling, a 21-year-old senior due to graduate Sunday from the University of Notre Dame, died early this morning after a fall from the roof of the Joyce Center.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Billy’s family and friends after this terrible tragedy,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University president said. “It is a profound sadness for all of us, on this graduation weekend, to lose someone so young and brimming with promise.”

A Notre Dame Security Police lieutenant, on patrol near the center at 3:45 a.m., was approached by two students who said they needed his assistance. Upon reaching the east side of the Joyce Center, the officer observed Meckling, unresponsive, on the ground near Gate 7. Emergency medical personnel also responded. CPR and other efforts to resuscitate him were unavailing.

Initial investigation indicates that the victim was among a small group of students who had gained access to the roof, wet from precipitation, at a relatively low point from outside the building. No others sustained injuries.

Meckling was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. The country coroner will determine the cause of death.

A mechanical engineering major, Meckling was from Centennial, Colorado, and was a member of the Notre Dame fencing team.

“When one thinks of the success of Notre Dame fencing, names like Gerek Meinhardt and Lee Kiefer come to mind,” head fencing coach Gia Kyaratskhelia said. “Yet equally integral to our team success are the unsung names, the walk-ons that bring the positive spirit, energy and camaraderie to our practices and competitions to push their teammates and themselves to greater heights. Billy Meckling was one of those teammates – an invaluable member of our sabre squad who left such a massive impact on all of us as a fencer and a human being.

“On the strip, Billy was a talented fencer and a determined worker on a very competitive sabre squad – evidenced by his earned monograms during the 2012 and 2014 seasons. More importantly, he was a great friend to all members of our program. A true Notre Dame man, his kindness and warmth impacted each and every one of us – and make his loss all the more difficult.”

The University Counseling Center and Campus Ministry are available to offer their support to members of the Notre Dame community.