Notre Dame fined in lift death


Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind.

The 20-year-old Notre Dame student who was killed when the hydraulic lift he was on fell over as he filmed the football team on a windy day had expressed displeasure about practice being held outside, according to a state report released Tuesday.

Declan Sullivan wasn’t happy when he found out the team would be practicing outside last Oct. 27, assistant video coordinator Reuel Joaquin told an Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration investigator.

Sullivan’s response was, “Aw man, this sucks,” Joaquin told investigator Jerry Marquell.

Less than an hour earlier, Sullivan had tweeted his concerns about what he described as “terrifying” weather.

“Gusts of wind up to 60 mph today will be fun at work ... I guess I’ve lived long enough,” he wrote.

Joaquin also told the investigator that he and video coordinator Tim Collins had decided not to put a female videographer on a lift until midway through practice because it wasn’t necessary and “so we would not scare her.”

The details were released as IOSHA fined Notre Dame $77,500 for six safety violations tied to Sullivan’s death. The junior from Long Grove, Ill., was killed when the hydraulic lift toppled in gusts of up to 53 mph while he was filming football practice.

The Rev. John Jenkins, university president, said the school would study the IOSHA report and take necessary actions to protect students and staff. The school announced last week it was replacing the lifts with remote-controlled cameras.

“None of these findings can do anything to replace the loss of a young man … As I said last fall, we failed to keep him safe, Jenkins said in a statement.

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