Notre Dame student dies in fall from roof of campus sports arena

A 21-year-old Notre Dame senior died early Saturday on the eve of his graduation when he fell from the wet roof of the school's basketball arena.

William Meckling, of Centennial, Colo., was killed in a fall from the roof of the Joyce Center, a school spokesman said.

“Initial investigation indicates that the victim was among a small group of students who had gained access to the roof, wet from precipitation, at a relatively low point from outside the building,” spokesman Paul Browne said. “No others sustained injuries.”

Two students reported the accident to a Notre Dame security officer on patrol around 3:45 a.m.. The officer found Meckling unresponsive and called for an ambulance. Attempts to revive the student were unsuccessful, Browne said.

Meckling was set to graduate Sunday with a degree in mechanical engineering.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Billy’s family and friends after this terrible tragedy,” Notre Dame president the Rev. John Jenkins said “It is a profound sadness for all of us, on this graduation weekend, to lose someone so young and brimming with promise.”

Meckling was a member of the school’s fencing squad, the school said.

Head fencing coach Gia Kyaratskhelia said the young man was “an invaluable member of our sabre squad who left such a massive impact on all of us as a fencer and a human being.”