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Duke student dies in 'accidental' fall

Posted October 24, 2010
Updated October 25, 2010

— Duke University is mourning a student who died Sunday after a "tragic but accidental fall" Friday morning, according to school officials.

Drew Everson, a senior from Tampa, Fla., fell behind the East Union Building, according to Duke Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta. He was found at 11:30 a.m., and Durham emergency workers took him to Duke University Hospital.

University officials said Everson had been out with friends the night before he fell. Duke Police are still trying to figure out exactly what happened to Everson. Their investigation into the incident is expected to be completed in the new few days.

Everson's family, including his brother, A.J. Everson, a 2009 Duke graduate, was with him when he died Sunday, Moneta said.

"Drew leaves behind many, many friends throughout the Duke community. Many gathered (Sunday) afternoon in the Devil's Den to offer support to each other," Moneta said. "It saddens me greatly to share such tragic news, and I hope we can all comfort each other as needed."

President Richard Brodhead and other university officials have been providing support to Everson's family and friends, according to the school. Two student affairs officials, Sue Wasiolek and Todd Adams, stayed with the family throughout their two days at the hospital.

A memorial service will be held in the Duke Chapel at noon Wednesday, followed by a reception in the Scharf Commons area adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke University Duke student dies in 'accidental' fall

A political science major, Everson spent last summer in New York working as an intern with Goldman Sachs, according to Duke. He was recently weighing job offers to pursue after graduation this spring.

Everson was a member of Pi Kappa Phi and the Duke Debate Team and served as a line monitor for Duke men's basketball.

Duke University Dean and Vice-Provost Stephen Nowicki said Everson was well-liked by everyone.

"It's remarkable how many faculty commented on him being one of their favorite students. He certainly was one of mine," he said.

Nowicki, who taught Everson his sophomore year, said he learned by e-mail about Everson's accident.

"It's an unthinkable tragedy," he said.

Nowicki said he visited Everson's family in the hospital shortly before his death.

"I don't know how you cope with it. I think all you can do is provide as much tangible and emotional support that you can to the family," he said.


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  • cchall99 Oct 28, 2010

    This sounds eerily similar to an event that happened many years ago when I was in college.

  • LovemyPirates Oct 26, 2010

    WRAL has the facts the Durham Police and Duke University Security are releasing - no more or no less. Readers should stop speculating until the facts are released - then jump to conclusions.

  • CrewMax Oct 25, 2010

    The WRAL reporter said Duke police called it an accident. Later she said that they didn't know all the details. That smells.

  • AF Flight Nurse Oct 25, 2010

    Our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of this young man. We are truly sorry for your loss of a family member.

  • awheywego Oct 25, 2010

    wildcat wrote "A person just don't fall down" - seriously, you need to learn English.

  • wildcat Oct 25, 2010

    Should his family sue the university?

  • wildcat Oct 25, 2010

    Its difficult for the family when they don't know what he felled from. So what are they telling the family?

  • wildcat Oct 25, 2010

    What this drug related? A person just don't fall down. There has to be a reason, don't you think?

  • btneast Oct 25, 2010

    Air quotes are poor English....or grammar. Quotation marks are ONLY used when directly quoting another person or source. "Air quotes" , as I just used, are something made up over the past few years when they are intended to connote a different meaning to the word . When I see someone use their fingers to make air quotes in a conversation, I want to smack them.

  • tictock Oct 25, 2010

    You are not clear on this WRAL. Did he fall on the ground or did he fall from the tower?