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Park-Stradley student falls, in critical state

45 a.m. on Feb. 2.

Abi Rathbone was walking back to Baker Hall East at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when she saw a body lying on the ground.
Three or four students and two police officers surrounded the body on the ground in the courtyard between Park-Stradley Hall and Baker halls East and West. Rathbone, a second-year in exploration, said some of the students were calm while the others were distraught.
“They were telling the cops what they saw,” she said.
Rathbone said she wasn’t sure what to do about what she saw, so she called her friend to tell her about it and went back to her dorm.
The body belonged to OSU student and Park-Stradley resident Eric Ward, who was in critical but stable condition in an intensive care unit at Wexner Medical Center Sunday afternoon.
A Park-Stradley resident not authorized to talk about the incident requested anonymity and said Ward had suffered head trauma and had been sedated.
Ward, a first-year in business administration, had been up on the approximately 10-foot-high connector between Baker Hall East and Park-Stradley with friends when his friends began jumping off.
“His friends were jumping off into the grassy area between Park and Stradley, and he went to jump and he tripped and fell (off the building), and I guess he landed on his shoulder first but then he hit his head on the ground,” said the resident.
Attempts to reach members of Ward’s family Sunday afternoon were unsuccessful and representatives from the Ohio State Police did not immedaitely resond to requests for comment over the weekend.
“Our thoughts are with the student and his family, with hopes for a complete and speedy recovery,” Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs said in an email Sunday. “Student Life’s Department of Student Advocacy staff is working with them to provide whatever assistance may be necessary.”
Despite the severity of the situation, many students said they weren’t aware of the Saturday incident.
Park-Stradley resident Alexis Crockett, a first-year in neuroscience and psychology, said she hadn’t heard of Ward’s condition and hadn’t heard anything about it Saturday afternoon. However, she said students climbing to restricted areas of the building is common.
“I’ve heard of people getting up to the top of the roof … It’s cool to be up there and look down and stuff,” Crockett said.

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