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Mother identified as person killed in fall at daughter’s Ohio State graduation ceremony

Ohio State police do not suspect foul play and believe the fall was not accidental, university spokesperson Ben Johnson said Tuesday.
An exterior view of Ohio Stadium at Ohio State University
Ohio Stadium at Ohio State University in Columbus on May 18, 2019.John Minchillo / AP file

This story includes discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, the national suicide and crisis lifeline in the U.S. is available by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at 988lifeline.org

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A woman who fell from the stands to her death during a graduation ceremony at Ohio State University last weekend has been identified as a woman whose daughter was receiving her diploma.

The Franklin County Coroner’s Office said the 53-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, just outside Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Sunday. The Columbus Dispatch reported the death was being investigated as an apparent suicide, citing coroner documents.

An investigation continues into how the woman fell from the stadium, which the school says is 136 feet (41 meters) tall, to the pavement below. However, Ohio State police do not suspect foul play and believe the fall was not accidental, university spokesperson Ben Johnson said Tuesday.

It happened around midday, near the stadium’s Bell Tower, as the last graduates were filing into the stadium. According to the commencement program, the woman’s daughter was among those graduating.

The commencement continued without mention of what happened, but some students and others at the ceremony were visibly upset after the fall. A spokesman said the university has contacted all graduates and staff who volunteered at graduation to offer counseling services.