Austin Singletary: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Austin Singletary, a third-year student at Ohio State, died during the student-led Mirror Lake jump tradition, which occurs before the Buckeyes’ annual rivalry game against the University of Michigan. (Ohio State University Office of Student Life)

An Ohio State University student died during the school’s Mirror Lake jump tradition.

The third-year student has been identified as Austin Singletary, of Dayton, Ohio, by the university.

Singletary, 22, was pulled from the lake in cardiac arrest at 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, the Columbus Dispatch reports. He immediately received treatment by paramedics, but later died.

“I know that the thoughts and prayers of all of us are with his family and loved ones. During this difficult time, counseling services will be made available throughout the holiday weekend for those who seek support,” university president Michael Drake said in a statement.

During the Mirror Lake jump, students leap into a man-made body of water on Ohio State’s Columbus campus on the Tuesday night before the Buckeyes’ football team plays its rivalry game against the University of Michigan.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Singletary Died of a Broken Neck, the Medical Examiner Says

Singletary suffered a broken neck, the medical examiner told the Columbus Dispatch.

Coroner Anahi Ortiz told the newspaper an autopsy revealed Singletary’s C-5 vertebra was fractured, which would cause paralysis of the arms, legs and diaphragm, causing death. She said the injury was likely caused by hitting something hard, like the bottom of the lake or a rock.

Singletary was found underwater.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, he was in cardiac arrest when he was pulled from Mirror Lake.


2. The University Plans to Ban the Tradition After Singletary’s Death

The university said other students suffered minor injuries during the Mirror Lake jump. Ohio State officials say they plan to ban the unofficial tradition going forward.

“In spite of significant efforts taken to make this event a safer one, this tragedy has occurred. We must come together and acknowledge that while this is a student-led tradition that has been passed down through the years, we cannot risk another tragedy. University leadership strongly agrees that we will work with our campus community to end this annual event,” the university said in a statement.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the tradition dates to 1990, when students spontaneously jumped into the lake. The university tried to limit it two years ago with fencing around the lake. They also only allowed students with wristbands obtained before the event into the area, the Dispatch writes:

Students responded with a social-media campaign calling for an unofficial jump on Monday night instead of Tuesday night. Several thousand showed up, and when they began to knock down the fences, law-enforcement officers let them go ahead. But many more came for the pass-required jump on Tuesday; a similar pattern unfolded in 2014.

This year, OSU officials tweaked the plan by enlarging the fenced area and creating two entances instead of one, along with several one-way exits.


3. Singletary Was Studying Human Nutrition & Business Management

(Facebook)

Singletary was a student in the university’s College of Education and Human Ecology, majoring in human nutrition. He was also pursuing a minor in business administration.

He graduated from Bellbrook High School in 2012.


4. He Worked at a Local Elementary School as Part of a University Program

Singletary was a site leader for Near East Side Health Sciences Programming at Eastgate Elementary School, as part of the Buckeye Civic Engagement Connection.

He assisted “elementary school students, by helping them academically and to address their own behavioral issues,” according to the program’s website.


5. His Brother & Ohio State Students Are Mourning the Loss of Singletary on Social Media

Singletary’s brother, Landon, paid tribute to him on Twitter:

Several Ohio State students and friends took to social media to mourn the loss of Singletary:

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