Notre Dame Student From Colorado Dies After Falling Off Sports Arena Roof

Credit: WNDU
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The University of Notre Dame says a 21-year-old student from Colorado who was set to graduate Sunday died after falling from the roof of the school's sports arena.

William Meckling of Centennial, Colorado, was among a group of students who climbed onto the Joyce Center's roof early Saturday. It was a rainy morning, leaving the roof wet and slippery. Meckling fell shortly before 3:45 a.m.

Two students told a campus security officer, who found Meckling unresponsive on the building's east side near its Gate 7. Emergency responders attempted to resuscitate him at the scene.

Meckling was pronounced dead at a hospital.

School officials say Meckling was a mechanical engineering major and a member of Notre Dame's fencing team. Fencing coach Gia Kyaratskhelia told sister station WNDU that Meckling left a "massive impact" during his time with the team.

"When one thinks of the success of Notre Dame fencing, names like Gerek Meinhardt and Lee Kiefer come to mind,” 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."

Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins said "it is a profound sadness ... to lose someone so young and brimming with promise."