Update: Smith passed away about 3 a.m. on Dec. 11. Click here to read more.
As police continue their investigation of Engineering sophomore Ryan Smith's fall from the Quadrangle this weekend, Smith's family and friends say they do not believe the incident was a suicide attempt.
University spokeswoman Lori Doyle confirmed yesterday that the student is Ryan Smith, an Engineering sophomore from Rose Valley, Pa.
Smith, a Digital Media Design major, fell from the fifth floor of the south side of Fisher Hassenfeld College House about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Smith - who is a resident of Harrison College House - remains in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was taken immediately after the incident.
"His family and others who know him do not believe this was a suicide attempt, just a very tragic accident," Doyle said yesterday. She said family and friends have been with Smith at the hospital over the past several days.
Doyle said the police investigation of the fall would likely not be complete until police can interview Smith. She said due to the severity of his injuries, she did not know when this would occur.
The Division of Public Safety would not comment on the investigation, citing its sensitive nature. The Philadelphia police detective on the case could not be reached for comment.
Doyle said police were notified of the incident when someone saw Smith lying on the ground.
Hamilton Walk was blocked off between Johnson Pavilion and Leidy Labs between about 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday as police and University officials examined the site of the fall.
Officials said they are continuing to reach out to the student's friends.
The Harrison house staff is "working with the students affected and making sure they get what they need," said House Dean Frank Pellicone.
"One thing Penn does very well is crises," he said.
Both Penn officials and Fisher Hassenfeld residents who live near the location where Smith fell said they were shocked and saddened by the incident.
College freshman Alexandra Romano, who lives on the fourth floor of Class of 1928 in Fisher Hassenfeld, called the incident "disturbing" to hear about "because it was a fellow student."
Kalina Eneva and Lauren Meepos - both College freshmen who live in the basement of Class of 1928 - said their proximity to the fall was off-putting.
Eneva said she was "only 20 feet" from where Smith fell.
"It was shocking when I saw the red tape and how close it was to where I live," Meepos said.
"This is a very sad situation," Doyle said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
Counseling and Psychological Services is offering support for students who wish to talk about the incident. Students who would like to use these resources can call 215-898-7021.
Campus News Editor-elect Rachel Baye, Managing Editor-elect Rebecca Kaplan, Photo Manager-elect Ted Koutsoubas and City News Editor-elect Emily Schultheis contributed reporting to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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