By FITSNEWS || One week after the body of 19-year-old Tucker Hipps was pulled from a river near Clemson University – a death that may have been connected to a fraternity ritual at the school – another student at the Upstate South Carolina university has been found dead.
According to the Miami-Dade (Florida) Medical Examiner’s office, Kendall Wernet of Arden, N.C. died at 8:24 a.m. on Monday.
The cause of death was a 25-foot fall from the forward mast of the Carnival cruise ship Ecstasy.
“Everything points to it being an accident,” Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told The Miami Herald . Nonetheless, police are opening an investigation into the incident.
A spokeswoman for Carnival said the accident took place in a “restricted area” of the ship that’s supposed to be off-limits to passengers.
Wernet was a member of several campus groups including the school’s sailing club and symphonic band. He was also a leader of Clemson’s Community for Undergraduate Business and Behavioral Science (CUBBS). He described himself as an “aspiring entrepreneur.” In fact he had already founded his own company.
Those who knew him – including his fellow students and teachers at Clemson – were understandably taking the news hard.
“It’s kinda sad when your teacher has to leave the room because of a horrible thing that happened to a wonderful person,” one of Wernet’s friends tweeted.
“Can’t believe this,” another tweeted. “I’ve seen too many friends die for an 18-year-old.”
Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fellow students …
UPDATE: Clemson has confirmed Wernet’s death.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Clemson student Kendall Wernet, a junior management major from Arden, N.C.,” Dean of Students Shannon Finning said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends, and we stand ready to help them through this difficult time.”