Official cause of death released in USM student's death - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

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Official cause of death released in USM student's death

Cole Whaley. Source: USM Cole Whaley. Source: USM
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDAM) -

We now know the cause of death of a USM student who died in New Orleans over the weekend. 

The Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse released the preliminary autopsy report for Cole D. Whaley Tuesday morning. 

The report is as followed:

Orleans Parish Coroner, Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, announced today that the decedent involved in an incident that occurred early morning on Saturday, February 11 at the DoubleTree hotel located at 300 Canal St. in New Orleans has been identified as Cole D. Whaley, a 20 year old white male.

"According to NOPD reports, the decedent fell through a closed 11th story hotel window and landed on the ground in an outdoor area located on the 4th floor near the hotel's pool. Findings from the autopsy performed by my office on Mr. Whaley reveal injuries consistent with reported circumstances including multiple skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage.

Mr. Whaley's preliminary cause of death is classified as 'blunt force injuries.' The final cause and manner of death remain under investigation, pending toxicology test results."

Jeffrey C. Rouse, M.D.

Coroner, City of New Orleans

A fraternity member told Seven On Your Side that the incident was a "freak accident, the window shattered, it was a real bad accident."

The Southern Miss Interfraternity Council posted this message Sunday evening on it's Facebook page:

"Members of our Pi Kappa Phi chapter are conducting a private ritual to mourn the loss of member Cole Whaley, but also celebrate his life. Cole was a high achieving student who had a passion not only for his fraternity and his fraternity brothers but Southern Miss as well. Cole was a competitive intramural participant and always promoted a high level of sportsmanship. He was a member of the Honors College and always encouraged his fraternity brothers to succeed academically. We know Cole has influenced many in our community and we are thankful for the time with him and his impact on us. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family, his fraternity brothers, his Spanish Fort community and all those affected."

WDAM 7 reached out to the Pi Kappa Phi national office.  In a statement, Pi Kappa Phi Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Timmes said "Our thoughts and prayers are with Cole's family and friends."

A Pi Kappa Phi brother told Seven on Your Side the fraternity is planning and memorial for Whaley.  The brother said Whaley "will never be forgotten."  Another member told WDAM 7 Whaley was "a great guy, the kind of person everyone wanted to be around."

USM and fraternity alumni are offering counseling services and support to  those affected by Whaley’s death. Student Counseling Services (SCS) can be reached at (601) 266-4829 during regular business hours and after 5 p.m. and on weekends at (601) 606-4357 (HELP).

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 

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