Ohio State looking at safety issues after falls from parking garage

Centerville woman in critical condition after falling from Ohio State parking garage

Ohio State University president Michael Drake has launched a task force to examine two incidents that occurred on campus late last week.

On Sunday, Kelly Denlinger, 35 and a former OSU student, fell from the Ohio Union’s south parking garage. Denlinger, who is from Centerville, last attended OSU in 2007, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Denlinger was transported to Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center where she was reported to be in critical condition. As of Tuesday afternoon Denlinger’s condition was no longer listed, meaning she may no longer be at the hospital or her family may have asked her condition to be kept private, a spokeswoman said.

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Just four days before Denlinger’s fall, Ohio State student Daniel Birdsall died after he fell from the same parking garage on Thursday. Birdsall was from Morrow in Warren County.

No foul play is thought to have been a factor in the incidents, according to the university.

Late Monday, Drake emailed students, faculty and staff announcing a 60-day task force that will evaluate “national best practices and provide recommendations” regarding the incidents.

In his email, Drake also said he has directed campus police to launch a review of facilities to “enhance safety measures.”

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In response to the tragedies, Ohio State has also increased foot patrols by police and security in parking garages, according to a press release from the school.

Though Ohio State has not officially called the falls attempts at suicide, Drake asked people on campus to contact an emergency department if they know anyone at risk of hurting themselves.

“The safety and well-being of our university community is — and always will be — our first priority. Thank you for continuing to support your classmates and colleagues throughout our Buckeye family,” Drake said via email.

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Ohio State is offering counseling services to anyone affected by the tragedy, according to a statement released by the university. More details of the Sunday incident, which involved a former Ohio State student, will be released as they become available.

The latest incidents come after an Ohio State student died in February 2017 after sustaining injuries from jumping off the top floor of the same garage, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Police originally reported the student in 2017 had fallen but her death was later ruled a suicide.

National Suicide Prevention hotline

1-800-273-8255

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