UNC Student Hospitalized After Jumping From Balcony

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)- A student at the University of Northern Colorado is in critical condition after jumping off a balcony and hitting his head. Ross Higuchi, 18, is in critical condition at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.

Police were called to his fraternity house, Delta Tau Delta, after a party at about 1 a.m. Saturday. They found Higuchi unconscious on the ground in front of the house.

“Apparently this individual had been drinking, was intoxicated and at some point in time, just decided to jump off of the balcony,” said Greeley Police Sergeant Joe Tymkowych.

There is a substantial railing around the second floor balcony. Witnesses told police the doors leading to the balcony were locked and Higuchi forced his way to the balcony, sparking a heated discussion with his fraternity brothers.

unc delta tau delta UNC Student Hospitalized After Jumping From Balcony

Delta Tau Delta fraternity at UNC (credit: CBS)

“The fact that he wasn’t supposed to be out there, that he may be liable for damages to the doors and at that point in time, he just jumps over the edge,” said Tymkowych.

Higuchi hit his head when he landed.

“It does not appear as though he was despondent in any way. As far as we can tell at this point in time, there was no reason for him to want to jump other than maybe it was a little bit of alcohol,” said Tymkowych.

Higuchi is a freshman at UNC. He graduated from Smoky Hill High School in May 2010. Friends say he was a kicker for the football team and a varsity wrestler. Delta Tau Delta said Higuchi joined the fraternity in October.

The fraternity’s vice president, Jim Russell, issued this statement on Monday, “The Fraternity’s immediate focus is supporting Ross’s family and our students at Northern Colorado. We will provide our resources as needed during this difficult time.”

Higuchi’s family released this statement, “Ross has been and will continue to fight a serious injury with the love, prayers, and thoughts of many friends and family behind him. The family cannot express our thankfulness for this beautiful display of human compassion and love.”

Police are investigating where the teenager got the alcohol. The university is also conducting its own investigation.

Delta Tau Delta is one of nine fraternities and five sororities associated with UNC.

  • RW

    Where did he get the alcohol? Pretty sure the Frat houses are not dry….any cop driving around campus that night would have seen kids running around…I live next to a frat near this house….It was loud that night. Followed by another night of drinking….The alcohol comes from students/possibly members who are of legal age to purchase the alcohol…most kids buy their own and bring it to the party or whatever is leftover just sitting around a house goes too…

  • Sara

    If one were to peer into the garbage of any house on campus…you are likely to see…or in the back alleys what remains of the night before…bottles and solo cups. Drinking will always be an issue….examine other places such as Boulder or CSU on a college night….same thing. My concern as a student is the lack of leadership in helping incoming students know that their is a cutoff point. I have seen less regulatory behaviors being exhibited by “role models” and more violent, out of control behaviors being displayed by both male and female upperclassmen. If students coming in are adapting to an environment where the bar is only set so high…drinking and a S#@% show is what you are going to get.

  • Josh

    In this moment of sadness, it is time that fraternities re-evaluate the “necessity” for alcohol at college parties. Being a recent graduate, and 20-something, I understand the temptation to drink in college. Even still, it is only when a person dies that we question the high levels of alcohol consumption.

    On a separate note, I went to college with his older sister. My heart goes out to her and the entire family.

  • Ben

    As a college student, you never think about things like this until it affects someone you know. I graduated with Ross and it actually puts things into perspective for me. I’m in a frat up at the University of Minnesota now, and ironically enough, we’re the only house on campus with a balcony. As sad as it is for me to hear that one of my friends passed away, it’s kind of a wake-up call in a way to be a little more careful when dealing with alcohol.

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