On Campus

Grief counsellors at St.FX after student dies in fall

RCMP do not suspect foul play, investigate whether alcohol or drugs played a role

An autopsy was being conducted Monday on the body of a student who took a fatal fall from a residence window at St. Francis Xavier University.

Nicholas John Sheehan, 18, of Fredericton, a first-year student, tumbled from the fourth floor of Lane Hall on Sunday night. “It goes without saying that we’re saddened by what happened, the entire community on and off campus,” said university spokesman Kyler Bell.

Grief counsellors were made available to students who feel they need to talk about what happened.

“For at least the next few days we’ll be operating until late at night and then on call afterwards for any student who feels they need to speak to a professional,” Bell said.

RCMP Sgt. Mark Gallagher said they do not suspect foul play but the medical examiner was called in and toxicology tests done.

Police are trying to determine whether alcohol or drugs played a factor in the fall. It could be weeks before all the results are known. Gallagher said investigators planned to talk to family members and to other students to try to determine how it happened.

Police and paramedics responded to the call around 9 p.m. but the student was pronounced dead on site.

Bell said the university was trying to get back on track after the shock of what happened.

“I don’t like to use the words ‘routine’ or ‘as usual’ because, of course, it isn’t,” he said. “But classes have resumed and we’re operating . . . with minimal disruption.”

– The Canadian Press

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