Woman, 53, identified by fingerprints after falling to her death at Ohio State graduation

Students were visibly upset as ceremony continued on Sunday afternoon

Dan Gooding
Tuesday 07 May 2024 19:50 BST
Emergency services were seen outside the Ohio State Stadium in Columbus after a woman fell to her death on 5 May 2024
Emergency services were seen outside the Ohio State Stadium in Columbus after a woman fell to her death on 5 May 2024 (WBNS)

The woman who fell to her death during a graduation ceremony at Ohio State University has been identified.

Larissa Brady, 53, was identified by her fingerprints following the tragic incident, according to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office.

The incident happened at around 12.25pm on Sunday as students arrived for the ceremony in Columbus, Ohio. Brady was declared dead by medics who arrived on the scene, 10WBNS reported. The ceremony carried on as planned following the fatality.

Ohio State University Police Department told The Independent that officers “do not suspect foul play or an accidental fall”.

“Ohio State is grieving the death of Larissa Brady, a family member of one of our graduates,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to her family and friends during this exceptionally difficult time.”

Around 12,500 students were in the stadium at the time. A reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, who was at the event, said some students were visibly upset.

Ohio State University’s graduation ceremonies took place after weeks of Gaza protests on campus, part of a wave of demonstrations sweeping colleges across the US. In Indiana, some students walked out of their graduation ceremony on Saturday, while pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Michigan interrupted the event there.

In Columbus, Melissa Shivers, Ohio State’s senior vice president of student life, called for a day without interruptions on Sunday. "Today is a day for focusing on and celebrating our graduates,” she said, according to the Dispatch.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch. If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call or text 988, or visit 988lifeline.org to access online chat from the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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