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100+ Remember ECU Student Killed In Fall At Campus Vigil Thursday

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East Carolina University students gathered Thursday night for a candlelight vigil at the memorial student garden to remember a student killed in a bizarre accident.

Police say 21-year old Jonathon Bennett, who was a junior at ECU, died when he was walking on a fallen tree Wednesday morning, and fell onto a metal post. His Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity brother, Brandon Pittman, spoke to the crowd.

"I can, without a doubt in my mind, tell all of you now, and including you looking down on us Jonathon, that you were so very loved, respected, and cherished by all of us here tonight," said Pittman.

Along with the T.K.E. fraternity, Bennett was also involved in the ambassadors and intramural sports organizations on campus.


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East Carolina University will mourn the death of 21-year-old Jonathon Bennett as a community on Thursday night.

ECU said Greek Life is hosting the vigil for Bennett at 9 p.m. at the Student Memorial Garden on campus.

The 21-year-old was studying Geographic Information Science and Technology. He began studying at ECU in the fall of 2010.

Police said they believed Bennett died almost immediately after slipping six to eight feet down, off a tree trunk behind University Manor Apartments Wednesday morning, falling onto a metal fence post.


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Greenville, NC -- An East Carolina University student died Wednesday morning after falling off a tree branch onto a metal fence post, according to police.

Police have identified the student as Jonathon Bennett of Wilson.

The 21-year-old and four friends were in the woods behind University Manor Apartments, according to law enforcement. A news release states the group had been drinking alcohol and hanging out on an overturned tree.

Police say as the group was heading back, Bennett was walking on one branch and holding onto another one above him when the higher branch broke, and the student fell.

Bennett landed onto a waist-high metal post, apparently part of a debris fence that had been there since the apartment complex was built, according to police. Police were called around 1 a.m.

Police report Bennett was impaled from the lower left back to the upper right chest. They believe Bennett died almost instantaneously.

According to a 911 call, one of the friends performed CPR while another yelled to emergency crews so they could pinpoint their exact location.

An autopsy is planned.

ECU reports Bennett had been a student since the fall of 2010 and was a Geographic Information Science and Technology major.

Scott Curtis was a geography professor of his and says, "He sat in the front row. He wasn't one of those shy students that didn't say anything, or that didn't participate. He was definitely one of the more interested students and he would definitely participate in class."

Brett Wynne is a grad assistant in intramural sports where Bennett worked. He said, "He had success written all over him. At the same time, he had the demeanor of success, but at the same time he was very professional, very nice, very kind, just one of the rare personalities you come across. Enjoyable personality, just somebody who really brightened your day every time you saw him and it's just sad to see him go."


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Police said an East Carolina University student was killed after falling off a tree trunk and landing on a metal fence post.

Greenville police said they got a call around 1 a.m. on Wednesday to 3685 East Tenth Street, University Manor Apartments.

The caller told dispatchers a 21-year-old ECU student was walking across a fallen tree behind the complex with two friends when he fell.

Investigators said the student fell between six and eight feet down, was impaled on a metal fence post, and died.

Police said they do not suspect any foul play in the student's death, but that alcohol may have been a factor.

The student's name has not yet been released as police work to notify his family.


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