State College police: Penn State student killed in fall from parking garage

bmilazzo@centredaily.comDecember 21, 2013 

A Penn State student was found Friday from an apparent fall from the south side of the Fraser Street garage.

ABBY DREY — CDT photo

— A Penn State student from Maryland was killed Friday when he jumped from the Fraser Street parking garage in downtown State College, borough police said Saturday.

Police identified the student as Andrew M. Magargle, 22, of Pasadena, Md.

Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers ruled Magargle’s death a suicide and said the death was a result of chest trauma.

Officers responded just after 9:30 a.m. Friday to a report of an individual lying on the ground on the south side of the parking garage. Chief Tom King said the man was found by a passer-by beside a walkway on the Beaver Avenue side of the parking garage.

“Preliminary investigation shows no evidence of criminal activity,” police said in a report issued Saturday. “Initial findings indicate the male likely died from injuries sustained from falling or jumping from the roof of the Fraser Street parking garage, though additional investigation is necessary to make a final determination.”

The Centre Daily Times does not report on suicides unless they involve public figures or occur in a public manner, as this incident did.

Lt. Brad Smail said the victim’s family was notified late Friday night.

Magargle was listed in the Penn State student directory as a computer science major. The computer science and engineering department tweeted condolences to Magargle’s family Saturday night. He was expected to graduate this semester, according to another tweet from the department.

“It is with deep sadness that we learned of Andrew’s death. It is always heart-wrenching to hear that a student’s life has been cut short, and we grieve for this loss,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathy is offered to his family and friends.”

This is the second fatal fall in downtown State College in two months.

Conor F. MacMannis, 20, of Virginia, was killed when he fell from a balcony at Penn Tower apartments Nov. 16. Police determined MacMannis had a synthetic form of LSD in his system.

Downtown State College residents such as Donovan Coleman and his roommate, Bronte Jones, said they couldn’t believe another incident of the sort has happened.

“It’s such a shame this happened, especially during the holidays,” Coleman said. “Lots of healing prayers to the family, but it seems like we’ve been hearing about a lot of falls like this.”

Jones added that he is careful when guests are at his apartment and out on the balcony.

“The last thing we want is to be another statistic of this sort here locally,” Jones said. “I think we’re really cautious now and maybe a little overprotective when a lot of people are there.”

The incident is one of several that have occurred in a little more than a year in which a person fell from or jumped out of a downtown structure.

In October 2012, Penn State cheerleader Paige Raque fell nearly 40 feet from a window in Calder Commons apartments. She suffered serious brain and hip injuries, and was treated at a Kentucky rehabilitation center.

Last December, a then-19-year-old woman fell from a fraternity house window. She fell 8 or 9 feet, according to police, and suffered multiple lacerations

In April, former Penn State student Joshua A. Zornberg died after lunging headfirst through an open window on the sixth-floor of an apartment building and falling to the street below. His death was ruled a suicide.

And last month, 19-year-old Penn State student Andrew Shearer was injured after falling off a second-floor balcony at Palmerton Apartments on West Beaver Avenue. He broke his leg.

Smail classified the incidents as “random coincidences” and urged members of the public to be aware of their surroundings.

Police ask that anyone with any information related to this suicide investigation contact them at 234-7150.

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @M11azzo.

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