Toms River South mourning after grad falls from a West Virginia University window
TOMS RIVER – Students and alumni of Toms River High School South plan to gather at the school's football field Thursday night, to commemorate a graduate who was the victim of a weekend fall at West Virginia University.
While a fraternity and an online fundraiser both stated Sean Guthrie, a WVU junior engineering major, had died Sunday, a school spokesperson told New Jersey 101.5 early Tuesday he in fact remained on life support at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
April Kaull, director of news for UVW, said Guthrie had been on the roof of the Kappa Alpha fraternity, smoking a cigarette, early Sunday morning. He fell while trying to get back inside around 4:15 a.m., she said. Police had told WDTV in Morgantown he was trying to re-enter the building through a window.
His family from Toms River was by his side, Kaull said. They have been in Morgantown since Sunday.
The family participated in a vigil for Guthrie Monday night, Kaull said.
A Gofundme page had been created to collect funds for funeral expenses, and described Guthrie as dying on Sunday.
"Sean was an exemplary student at WVU where he studied one of the university's most challenging programs, industrial engineering," the fundraiser's organizer, Cameron Gleason, wrote. "Time and time again, semester after semester, Sean excelled in these demanding classes, never appearing phased by his taxing course load."
The fundraiser described him as a leader in the classroom and the greater WVU community.
"Kappa Alpha Order was Sean's second home, and we were his second family. Sean positively influenced each and every member through his leadership skills, and devout loyalty to not only the organization - but to all of us, his brothers, whenever called upon to do so."
A similar incident involving a Toms River South graduate at the same university occurred in 2012. Brian Weithenauer died after a fall from a platform outside a second-story window of an off-campus apartment during a party.
— With reporting by Tom Mongelli, Dan Alexander and Louis C. Hochman
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