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ND junior injured in Naples fall

Mary Kate Malone | Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A junior Notre Dame architecture student studying in Rome is in a Naples hospital after being seriously injured in a fall during a program-sponsored trip to Naples, University officials said Monday.

In an e-mail sent to architecture students Monday, assistant dean of the School of Architecture Father Richard Bullene said Eric Morin was hospitalized with a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain, although University spokesman Dennis Brown would not confirm the extent of Morin’s injuries.

“I can confirm that he was injured in a fall in Naples as part of a program-sponsored trip,” Brown said. “It was a serious accident, and at this point we have not been able to determine the family’s wishes in terms of any additional information relative to his condition.”

Brown declined further comment on the specifics of the accident.

Morin is a former resident of Siegfried Hall, where a Mass was held for his recovery Monday night. After the Mass, Siegfried rector Father John Conley told Morin’s close friends Morin was in stable condition and will be in a drug-induced coma until Saturday to reduce swelling in the brain, said Morin’s former roommate, junior Andy Crutchfield.

Conley did not return Observer phone calls Monday night.

Brown said Morin’s parents were notified Sunday and flew to Italy from his hometown of Edina, Minn. They were expected to arrive in Naples Monday.

“The University was able to assist his parents in making travel arrangements, and they are expected to be in Naples at 12:30 [p.m. Monday] our time,” Brown said.

The accident occurred at 8:30 p.m. Naples time Sunday evening, Brown said. Morin was in Naples studying various architecture sites in the city as part of a multiple-city class trip. Brown said all architecture students in the Rome program were on the trip to Naples.

“It’s the primary spring trip for the program … [since the accident] they have moved on to Sicily,” Brown said.

Brown said Morin was the only student injured.

Several of Morin’s teammates on Notre Dame’s Ultimate Frisbee team attended the Mass for Morin in the Siegfried chapel, Crutchfield said.

“Some of the freshmen [on the team] came to Mass who met him for maybe a week at the beginning of the year because they knew that he’d do the same for them,” Crutchfield said.

He described Morin as “one of the most dedicated players on the team.”

Junior Cole Hundt, who was Morin’s freshman and sophomore year roommate in Siegfried, called Morin one of his best friends at Notre Dame.

“You have to be optimistic, otherwise you’ll beat yourself up,” Hundt said, “I’m worried, but you have to be optimistic in any situation like this.”