UMass Amherst student dies after campus fall

A look at the UMass Amherst campus.
Globe Photo/File
A look at the UMass Amherst campus.

A 21-year-old student at University of Massachusetts Amherst died early Friday after falling from a fourth floor of a building on the school’s campus, officials said.

James Tilley, a Windham, N.H. native, fell around 2 a.m. from the Hasbrouck Laboratory building, and died at the scene, according to Edward Blaguszewski, a university spokesman. The cause of death will be determined by a state medical examiner, he said.

Blaguszewski said that the incident is not suspicious and that foul play is not suspected. Blaguszewski did not know whether the building was open at the time.


The circumstances of the fall are under investigation by State Police working with Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office, which is standard procedure for unattended deaths.

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Tilley was a senior studying physics and mathematics, according to an e-mail sent to the campus community from David C. Vaillancourt, senior associate dean of students. Tilley was part of the Commonwealth Honors College, a member of the Society of Physics Students, and a tutor, the e-mail said.

“We extend our sincere condolences to James’ family and friends,” Vaillancourt said. Counseling services will be offered to students on campus.

Another UMass Amherst student died in New York City last December after falling from a high-rise hotel. Authorities have said 20-year-old Connor Cummings fell while attempting to take a picture. His death has been ruled an accident, according to police.

Alexandra Koktsidis can be reached at Follow her on twitter @akoktsidis.