As temperatures Tuesday evening hovered just above freezing, a mass of Ohio State students began plunging into the waters of Mirror Lake during the 2015 jump.
At about 12:20 a.m. on Wednesday, at the peak of attendance, a stream of emergency responders, including Columbus Fire Department, rushed with a stretcher toward an ambulance parked on Neil Avenue.
Soon thereafter, law enforcement providing security for Mirror Lake began clearing OSU students out of the area that had been fenced off for the jump. The Lantern confirmed with a security officer on scene that this was a direct result of the medical emergency.
Vernon Baisden, director of public safety, said in email sent at about 1:20 a.m. that the unidentified male removed from Mirror Lake had received on-site medical attention from emergency responders before being taken to Wexner Medical Center for further care.
Update Nov. 25 at 4:45 a.m.: Director of Public Safety Vernon Baisden said outside Pomerene Hall that the unidentified male who was removed from Mirror Lake early Wednesday morning is in critical condition at Wexner Medical Center.
“Our immediate concern remains with this young man and his loved ones,” he said. “It is very important for us to identify this young man, and we ask anyone with information regarding his identity to call OSU Police at 614-292-2121.”
Update Nov. 25 at 10:45 a.m.: Ohio State has said in a release that the unidentified man pulled from Mirror Lake died from his injuries after several hours of medical care.
The statement also said that the university is still attempting to identify the man, adding that he is a black male of medium build with tattoos on his left upper chest and right upper arm.
Update Nov. 25 at 12:25 p.m.: OSU has stated in a release, “University leadership strongly agrees that we will work with our campus community to end this annual event.”
“We are heartbroken over this horrible tragedy,” University President Michael Drake said in the release, adding that the university has tentatively identified the man as a student and are attempting to reach out to his family.
Counseling services will be made available by the university during the holiday weekend, according to the statement.
“In spite of significant efforts taken to make this event a safer one, this tragedy has occurred. We must come together and acknowledge that while this is a student-led tradition that has been passed down through the years, we cannot risk another tragedy,” the release stated.
Update Nov. 25 at 3:05 p.m.: In a released statement, the university identified the male student who died Wednesday morning as Austin Singletary, a third-year in human nutrition from Dayton.
“I know that the thoughts and prayers of all of us are with his family and loved ones,” Drake said in the statement.