Tuesday, November 21, 2006

U. of Texas student killed in fall

University of Texas-Austin freshman Tyler Cross fell to his death from his fifth-floor dorm room Friday morning.
The shock of Cross' death continues to resound from Marietta to Austin, where he attended college to be near his older brother.

"The last four months have been the closest we've ever been," said Colin Cross, a senior at Texas. "I thank God for giving us that short amount of time to reconnect."

The night before his death, Tyler was "as happy as I've ever seen him," Colin Cross said. "When he left the [fraternity] house we were high-fiving."

Tyler Cross had just been chosen one of the future leaders of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He and his fellow freshman pledges were finishing up work on decorations for a theme party that would mark their initiation as brothers.

Colin Cross said he last saw his brother around 1 a.m. Friday, about three hours before his death. Before dawn, he was notified by local police, who took him to identify the body.

Their mother, Debbie Cross, said she's been consoled by the outpouring from her son's friends. His roommates told her that, the night after his death, 500 students gathered for a vigil in front of the University Towers dorm where he lived, just west of campus.

"We've already had seven of his fraternity brothers fly here [to Georgia], including the president, just to tell us how much Tyler touched everyone he met," Debbie Cross said. An additional 120 students have chartered a jet to attend today's funeral at Mount Bethel United Methodist Church in east Cobb County, she said.

Ed. Note: The story we saw incorrectly said Colin was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. On further research we found he was a Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge. Still, a sad death. From the news reports there was no 'foul play' or 'risky' activity - just a very tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the Texas SAE chapter as they grieve.

Holiday of mourning for family, friends of student | ajc.com

Freshman dies after fall - Top Stories