According to some students at Fordham University, climbing inside the famed clock tower is a rite of passage for graduating seniors. For one unfortunate student, it ended up being her fine act on this earth.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, “A 22-year-old senior fell from the tower atop Keating Hall on Fordham University's Rose Hill campus in the Bronx early Sunday.”
Friends who were with 22-year-old Sydney Paige Monfries at the time of the tragic accident, say that she was going to snap photos from the iconic location and post them to social media.
That’s when things went terribly wrong.
According to the New York Post, “Journalism major Sydney Paige Monfries, 22, of Portland, Ore., was taking part in what has become a rite of passage for seniors at the elite Bronx school — scaling the Keating Hall clock tower, touching its bell and taking photos outside one of its top windows.”
How the students gained entrance into the bell tower is a mystery and the subject of an investigation surrounding the death.
The tower is supposedly off-limits to students and is supposed to be locked, according to the school.
School spokesman Bob Howe said, “Access to that tower is always locked. University officials are investigating how the students gained access to the tower.”
But Anne said, “The doors aren’t always locked. They’re unlocked at night when they’re cleaning. They are always doing some kind of cleaning or renovation.”
Whatever the status of the lock on the door on that night, it didn’t stop Monfries and her friends.
The group of students sneaked in “and were climbing its spiral staircase around 3 a.m. when she tripped over some debris on a landing and tumbled down 40 feet, smashing the back of her head open.” according to sources.
According to the New York Times, Witnesses say Monfries "fell through an opening in a landing and plummeted down the inside of the clock and bell tower just a month before her graduation."
Friends rushed to her side while awaiting EMS.
“Paramedics had trouble getting a pulse when they arrived at the scene but were eventually able to revive the Portland, Ore., native after she suffered a traumatic cardiac arrest.” sources said.
According to the New York Post, “Emergency workers found Monfries on the second floor of the tower around 3:17 a.m. with hardly any pulse.
"They tried to carry her downstairs and out the front but couldn’t maneuver her stretcher through the narrow stairway — then her vitals flatlined, Fire Department sources said.
"With no other recourse and time running out, medics loaded her into a rescue basket and began hoisting it up — with at least one emergency responder riding along to perform chest compressions, according to sources.
"The basket was lifted out a window and then lowered back down to the ground, and Monfries was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital.
"She was in ‘extremely critical’ condition on life support," law-enforcement sources said at the time. Ms. Monfries later passed away from her injuries.
According to her social media profiles, "Monfries [was] studying journalism, interned at InStyle magazine and is set to graduate in May."
Please join us in praying for Sydney's family and her traumatized friends. IKt's going to take some time to come to terms with this senseless tragedy.