UI student dead after fall from balcony


Update: 6:00 pm, 3/5/17, Sunday  

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS — Police say Jonathan Morales was not alone around the time he fell to his death. They say four people were with him and one of them was his brother. 

However, they say they are not sure whether the others were nearby when it happened since people were coming and going throughout the evening.

Police believe Morales’s death was accidental. They say he was drinking earlier in the day, but they don’t know how intoxicated he was when he fell.

No matter how it happened, students say they hope this is the last time.

“I think what’s really important is students need to realize that, even though alcohol may be involved, they need to put others first, and make sure they’re watching out for each other,” said student Matthew Fink.

Morales was a Communications major at UI. He is not the first student to die during Unofficial.

In 2011, police say Bradley Bunte was hit by a car, then run over by another. Authorities say he had been drinking, but police did not link his death to Unofficial.  

In 2006, 22-year old Caroline Yoon died after a motorcycle crash.

There’s an online fundraising page in place for Morales’s family. So far it’s gathered almost $8,000. 

In response to Morales’s death, UI Chancellor Robert Jones put out a statement calling for an end to Unofficial saying, “On behalf of the university, I offer sincere condolences to his family and friends. Going forward, we must find a way to work together as a community to end this event and avoid more senseless tragedy.”

Original: 6:00 pm, 3/4/17, Saturday  

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS — About 10:30 pm, Friday, police responded to the “0-100” block of East John Street for a report an individual had fallen from an apartment balcony.  

Upon arrival to the scene, the individual, who was later identified as 23-year old University of Illinois student Jonathan Morales, was found unresponsive. Police immediately provided emergency care until medical personnel arrived.  

Morales was then taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead about 11:50 pm. Morales, who is from Franklin Park, lived in Champaign and was a Communication Major at the University of Illinois.  

Limited information is available at this time, however, preliminary investigations suggest Morales’ fall was accidental.

Police and the coroner’s office continue to investigate. An autopsy is scheduled for later Saturday.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Champaign Police Investigations Division or Crime Stoppers.

(217) 351 – 4545  
Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 – 8477 

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