20-year-old Southern Miss student falls to his death through closed 11th story window

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A Southern Miss student in town for a fraternity event plunged to his death from the 11th floor of the DoubleTree Hotel early Saturday morning.

Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse released details on the February 11 death of 20-year-old Cole Whaley.

“According to NOPD reports, the decedent fell through a closed 11th story hotel window and landed on the ground in an outdoor area located on the 4th floor near the hotel’s pool,” Rouse said. “Findings from the autopsy performed by my office on Mr. Whaley reveal injuries consistent with reported circumstances including multiple skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage. Mr. Whaley’s preliminary cause of death is classified as ‘blunt force injuries.’ The final cause and manner of death remain under investigation, pending toxicology test results.”

The Interfraternity Council at Southern Miss issued a statement about Whaley’s death on Facebook on February 12.

Whaley had travelled to New Orleans with members of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, when the accident happened, according to the Interfraternity Council.

“Cole was a high achieving student who had a passion not only for his fraternity and his fraternity brothers but Southern Miss as well,” the statement reads. “Cole was a competitive intramural participant and always promoted a high level of sportsmanship. He was a member of the Honors College and always encouraged his fraternity brothers to succeed academically. We know Cole has influenced many in our community and we are thankful for the time with him and his impact on us. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family, his fraternity brothers, his Spanish Fort community and all those affected.”

Read the entire statement below: