Miss. State Stadium Security Questioned After Student’s Deadly Fall

Published: May 10, 2016

Mississippi State University is investigating a student’s death that occurred when he fell from the football stadium’s Jumbotron on May 7.

Junior Andrew Dembroski and two other students reportedly trespassed into Davis Wade Stadium and onto the video board before Dembroski fell through a landing that collapsed under his weight, according to MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter.

Dembroski was pronounced dead around 2:50 a.m., more than an hour before university police received an emergency call, reports the Sun Herald.

Because of the location of Dembroski, first responders had to use a basket and pulleys to lower his body and give him treatment.

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Salter says the stadium entrances were locked at the time the students broke in, but couldn’t confirm that the video board’s maintenance door was locked. Regardless, Salter says the university has taken steps to improve security at the stadium since 2001.

“The stadium is locked for a reason and that it is trespassing, a serious crime for anyone to enter that locked facility,” Salter says. “During my student days anyone could enter the stadium 24 hours a day. But with each expansion of the stadium have come increased new security measures.”

Salter says university officials will consider further fortifying the stadium as they continue their investigation. Salter also emphasized the importance of teaching the campus community about the dangers of trespassing in the stadium.

“If I look at one thing that we’ve got to do a better job, and we’re going to do a better job of, is we’re going to educate our faculty, students and staff,” Salter says.

A popular university message board mentioned the Jumbotron climb in 2013, and several alumni confirmed they had knowledge of students trespassing in the past.

Salter offered the university community’s thoughts and prayers to the victim’s family and says the two students he was with will not be charged for trespassing.

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