Vandy Freshman Dies After Dormitory Fall

Posted: March 24, 1997

A Vanderbilt football player, distressed over an argument with his girlfriend, pounded on a dormitory window before accidentally falling to his death, university officials and Nashville, Tenn., police said.

Patrick Kyle Gullahorn, 19, died Saturday night after falling from a stairwell window just outside his room in Lupton Hall between the sixth and seventh floors in the Bransford Quadrangle.

``Our understanding is that he was upset and he hit the wall a few times and then he hit the window,'' said Vanderbilt dean of students Johnan A. Madson. ``He was hitting on the window and it broke. It gave and we're assuming when it gave, he lost his footing and fell out of the window.''

Police said the glass broke after the third time the 6-5-inch, 274-pound offensive lineman hit it. Gullahorn, a freshman from Hueytown, Ala., landed on a ledge above the first-floor entrance of the dorm.

Metro Nashville police are investigating the incident. They suspect alcohol might have played a part in Gullahorn's death.

``Apparently, there had been some drinking earlier in the afternoon and he and his girlfriend had a disagreement about something,'' homicide detective Kent McAlister told the Tennessean.

Gullahorn was in full cardiac arrest by the time Nashville Fire Department rescue workers arrived, said spokesman John Petty. Efforts at CPR failed. He was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

``There's an awful lot of grief going on right now,'' coach Woody Widenhofer said. ``We loved him dearly. We lost a family member.''

Counselors met with the team Saturday night and continued talking to players and other students yesterday.

Funeral arrangements aren't complete, but Vanderbilt officials said the entire football squad will attend Gullahorn's funeral.

Gullahorn had knee surgery on Aug. 22, and had been given a medical redshirt at that time.

In other college news:

* Penn State's Mike Dutka, a Conwell-Egan graduate, was named 1997 Big Ten freshman gymnast of the year.

* Penn State won its third consecutive NCAA fencing championship. Notre Dame was second.

* Iowa won its third straight NCAA wrestling championship with a dominant performance. The Hawkeyes had five individual champs and scored 170 points, breaking their own previous record (158).

SPORT STOPS * Genaro Hernandez (35-1-1) outpointed Azumah Nelson (39-4-2) to take the WBC super featherweight championship Saturday night in a narrow split decision that drew boos from the 4,100 fight fans at the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi, Texas. Hernandez, a former WBA world junior lightweight champion, outboxed Nelson, who fought a defensive fight that didn't allow him to land many effective punches. On the undercard, three-time champion Michael Carbajal (45-3) regained the IBA light flyweight title by knocking out Canada's Scotty Olson (31-3-2) in the 10th round.

* Martina Hingis lost the first three games before rallying to win a battle of heralded 16-year-olds, beating Venus Williams, 6-4, 6-2, in the third round at the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Fla.

* Heidi Voelker, 27, retired after placing third in the giant slalom at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Carrabassett Valley, Maine. Carrie Sheinberg won the event, three days after being told that she had been dropped from the U.S. ski team.

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