Hazing News

Wabash swimmer and Lambda Chi Alpha dies in fall: breaking news

At this time details are sketchy:

Two stories below:

Police: No foul play in Wabash College student’s fatal fall


CRAWFORDSVILLE – Police do not suspect that foul play was involved in the death of a Wabash College student who fell early Sunday from the roof of a campus building.

Patrick M. Woehnker, 19, of Kendallville, was with four other students on the roof of Goodrich Hall when he somehow became separated from them, according to assistant chief Hal Utterback of the Crawfordsville Police Department.

Investigators believe that Woehnker slipped and fell.

“Right now, we’re most looking at it likely as an accident,” Utterback said.

An autopsy was performed this morning in Terre Haute.

It said that Woehnker died of blunt force trauma, caused by the fall, said Montgomery County coroner Darren Forman. He said Woehnker also had a preliminary blood-alcohol content of 0.04 percent.

Wabash College spokesman Jim Amidon said today that grief counseling will be available on extended hours this week. Counselors met Sunday with students from Woehnker’s fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, and with Woehnker’s swimming teammates.

“It’s a small college. We have 900 students, all men,” Amidon said. “The president likes to refer to us as a band of brothers. This is a very dark day, a somber day, for us.”
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – Administrators and students at Wabash College are mourning after police found a freshman dead on campus. The student died after falling from the roof of a campus building.

“They’re shocked, all of us are shocked and saddened,” Jim Amidon, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Wabash College, said.

Early Sunday morning outside Goodrich Hall, campus police found the body of 19-year-old Patrick Michael Woehnker.According to school officials, the freshman died after he fell from the top of the building.

“We don’t know why he was on the rooftop or how he got there,” Amidon said.

Amidon says Goodrich Hall is an academic building and was closed at the time of the incident.

Woehnker was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He was also on the college swimming and diving team.

“Patrick swam in a swimming meet on Saturday afternoon and swam well and now he’s gone so they’re very saddened and shocked and they are not sure what to do,” Amidon said.

Wabash is a private liberal arts college for men. News of Woehnker’s death spread fast around the campus of 900 students.

“We’re a small tight knit community here, we’re a band of brothers so this morning we’re grieving and we’re very sad,” Amidon said.

School officials with Wabash College issued a statement alerting other students of his death. “Our immediate concern is for Patrick’s family, his fraternity brothers, and his teammates on the Wabash swimming and diving team.”

School officials brought in councilors to help the students grieve.

The Crawfordsville Police Department and the Wabash Dean of Students Office are investigating the incident.

Patrick Michael Woehnker

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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