Skip to comments.Declan Sullivan, Notre Dame student killed after video tower collapse, tweeted twice before fall
Posted on 10/29/2010 12:35:50 AM PDT by tlb
A Notre Dame student killed Wednesday in a tower collapse tapped out two chilling Twitter posts before his fatal 30-foot plunge.
In the first post, Declan Sullivan, who was perched on a scissor lift to film a Fighting Irish football practice, made a dark joke predicting his horrific fate.
"Gusts of wind up to 60 mph. Well today will be fun at work. I guess Ive lived long enough," Sullivan wrote at 3:22 p.m., just as practice was getting started.
More than 40-minutes later, the 20-year-old junior from Long Grove, Ill., was frozen with fear as wind-gusts approached 50 mph.
"Holy ---. Holy ---. This is terrifying," Declan wrote.
Around 45 minutes after that post, the tower collapsed, crashing through a fence some 30 feet below and landing on a street that runs between two athletic facilities.
Sullivan died later at South Bend's Memorial Hospital.
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...
I’d have thunk that long ago the system of sending a man up on a rickety platform with a camera to film games would have been replaced with a remotely controlled camera on a pole.
Too bad none of the coaches told him to get down. The kid was probably afraid he’d seem like a wimp if he refused to film that day.
Yeah kind of just makes sense.
What the hell is a chilling tweeted twice before tower collapse....?
if he won’t do his job,
they will find someone else who will
Those scissor lifts aren’t exactly what you’d call “rickety,” but extended to full height they don’t offer much stability against gusty crosswinds. ND is in seriously deep kimchee on this one; SOMEBODY should have had the sense to either lower the platform by about ten feet, or just tell the guy to stay on the ground.
Well and after all the camera must have been getting some pretty (((shaky))) pictures well before the tower toppled... wasn’t anybody on the ground looking at a monitor?
I was wondering if it was a sudden gust of wind that caused the lift to fall over. Evidently not.
The poor kid should have had better sense and come down from there.
Over and over we hear "You are responsible for your own safety" "Safety begins with YOU", etc.
Screw the job. If you don't get to cash your paycheck, it doesn't do you much good.
PS: Prayers up for the kid’s family and friends, no matter what, that’s gotta hurt.
Dumbasses usually do.
I don’t think this is the student’s fault. The faculty of Notre Dame should taken the lift down as it was only rated for 25mph winds.
“Dumbasses usually do.”
If you have kids, you might want to say a prayer and ask for forgiveness for that rotten statement. Karma and all that.
What is it about journalists that prevents them from using facts?
The scissor lift ‘tower’ didn’t ‘collapse,’ it was blown over by a wind gust.
A person should always know how to do a PLF if they are going up on high things.
You expect college kids to sometimes do stupid things.
That's why they so often get called "kids."
Adults who employ them are supposed to be responsible.
But they were too busy trying to win a game. Not a war, a game.
No way to spin this one. Whoever was in charge should never have let, or required that kid to stay up in a tower during high winds. Do they also continue practices with lightening flashing all around?
I’ll bet dollars to donuts (pretty much the same thing these days) that the operators manual for the lift has explicit warnings about high wind conditions.
I was in a scissor lift doing a shoot and the wind wasn’t anymore than maybe 20mph and that was shaky enough for me. I got out.
Shouldn’t say it, but football seems to involve a lot of pointless macho bs. And I love football, but I hope my grandson doesn’t play it. My son-in-law plays on an adult (if that’s the word) travel team and recently broke his ribs in a game. He wanted to play the next week.
Are you claiming that you can tell by wetting a finger what the derating factor for the lift is? Samuel Johnson said something to effect that men must be instructed by examples, in this case, a bad one. Lots of people are going to be consulting the manuals to try to understand how to safely operate those things in differend wind conditions. They should definitely have an anemometer on the platform. If I were I tort lawyer trying to drag the manufacturer in, that would be my argument and if I were a juror, I might buy it.
Guess he ‘took one for the team’...hopefully ND will get their *ss sued off...
... or guy the tower with three or four cables. Even two would work wonders, located on either side of the the upwind direction.
People involved in kids’ games tend to turn them into a life or death serious things. I’ve seen coaches of little girls’ soccer games hesitant to call a game even when it’s thundering and lightning all around. Until it strikes something close, they won’t. That tower in the photo looks more like a matchstick, and I’m sure some lawyer will see it as such. This folly is gonna cost them.
The guy was just a sheltered kid. Take it easy.
Only in the training sessions. On the floor it is "Know your role and shut your hole".
Like I said, though, no paycheck is big enough to not live to cash it.
What makes you think that the faculty of Notre Dame has any influence over this? That’s why our masters, the administrators, exist.
We faculty members don’t even have much influence over what’s taught in classrooms anymore, much less what some guy does in a practice football field.
It’s bad enough we’re blamed for other ills, but supervising the safety of a scissor lift? Come on, Sam. That’s unworthy of you.
Yes, but those warnings weren't stenciled in 14" tall letters on the side of the lift, so OSHA will hold the manufacturer at least 50% responsible.
No. But I don't need to know what it is. All I need to know is what my white knuckles and churning gut are telling me about how much swaying and shaking are going on, then I move to the controls, and lower the platform until all that motion falls comfortably below the "Holy ----" level.
The controls to operate the entire scissor lift are located right there on the platform. The tragic reality is that the poor kid could have taken direct action at any time to ensure his own safety, and that he knew enough about operating the lift to take such action. We know that the boy knew how to raise and lower the platform, because that's the only way to get up and down, as there's no ladder. You don't get 30ft. up in the air on one of those scissor lifts without climbing onto the platform in the lowered position, then using the controls to raise the platform.
His untimely demise, however, is proof positive that his common sense wasn't operational.
Expect the next generation of these lifts to be equipped with an anemometer that will send airspeed info to a computer that will automatically lower the platform. Expect that this next generation will also coat $5000 more than the ones built today.
Thank you for your remarks to the mean poster who is showing zero compassion during an agonizing time. Kids never see things ending badly. I called my college-age daughter and talked to her about this. This was a great kid from an outstanding family. Very sad.
Trust your instincts, but I’d still rely on measurements and forecasts. These irresponsible twits - I mean the operators of the lift - killed this poor kid.