Police Release Name of Man Who Died From Fall During VEISHEA Weekend
Mitch Odell, 21, was visiting Ames during the VEISHEA celebration when he fell from a balcony at Chamberlain Lofts.
The identity of a man who fell from a fourth-story balcony about 2 a.m. Saturday has been released.
Mitchell Odell, 21, Cedar Rapids, was visiting Ames during VEISHEA weekend when he accidentally fell from a balcony at Chamberlain Lofts, an office and apartment complex in Campustown just a block from Iowa State University property. He was pronounced dead at Mary Greeley Medical Center. The cause of death was blunt force trauma.
Ames Police Cmdr. Jim Robinson said Monday there was no indication that this was anything more than an accidental fall. He couldn't confirm whether Odell was sitting on the balcony's ledge, but said the man was on the ledge and indicated that he did something to cause the fall. Witnesses said that he had been drinking alcohol, the Des Moines Register reported.
Odell was not a university student. He graduated from Washington High School in 2009, according to his obituary.
An Ames High School graduate Benjamin Peterson, 22, fell from the same building in the summer of 2006. A story reported by the Iowa State Daily suggested he was sitting on the balcony's concrete ledge before he fell. Balconies on either end of the residential hallways in the building are protected by a concrete barriers. The balconies were locked after the fall.
Representatives from Real Estate Service Group, the company that manages the building, wouldn't comment on the fall. They released a statement on the most recent incident that read, "This is a tragedy. Our sincerest sympathies go out to the family and friends of this young man."
So far the accident isn't expected to affect future VEISHEA celebrations.
The accident was not associated with any scheduled Veishea activities, said John McCarroll, Executive Director University Relations.
"It is tragic that this young man lost his life. I think you know in this community, a college town, the death of a young person has particular significance," McCarroll wrote in an email message.
"The students who plan Veishea have consistently emphasized the importance of safety, that is, taking care of one’s own safety and the safety of those around you," he said adding, "This death is another reminder of the need to keep safety in mind.
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