U. of I.’s Chancellor Wants To Put An End To ‘Unoffical’

CHICAGO (CBS) — A University of Illinois student died on what’s considered one of the biggest party days on campus.

23-year-old Jonathon Morales grew up in the northwest suburb of Franklin Park.

He fell four stories from a balcony late Friday night at an apartment complex. Right now, police say they believe the fall was a tragic accident and that foul play is not suspected.

Champaign police were called to the apartment on East John St. around 10:30 Friday night, where they found Morales unresponsive.

He was given medical care at a local hospital, but succumbed to his injuries just before midnight.

Morales was a communications major. Some of his professors and friends remember him as a highly-engaged and motivated student.

His death coincides with “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day,” a campus celebration known by the students simply as “Unofficial.”

The student newspaper reports that Morales is the third death on Unofficial in recent years. In 2011, a student was hit by two cars and in 2006, a woman was hit by a drunk motorcyclist.

“I don’t want nobody getting hurt, but at the same time I’m of age and I want to enjoy myself with my friends as well,” said U. of I student Jacobi Cage. “So I don’t want them to take the holiday away or anything like that, but at the same time safety always comes first.”

Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones said going forward, the community must work together to put an end to the early St. Patrick’s Day celebration to “avoid more senseless tragedy.”

An autopsy is being performed on Saturday.

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