Two men fell 14 stories from a University of Hawaii dormitory early Sunday after one of them reportedly tried to stop the other from committing suicide.
The unnamed 24-year-old man attempted to help a 19-year-old who was standing on a Honolulu campus window ledge preparing to jump, authorities said.
However, he was unable to bring the man safely inside, and both plummeted from the 14th floor dorm, Fox News reported. Both were taken to the hospital for critical injuries. The 24-year-old died, and police said on Monday that the 19-year-old was still alive but in critical condition.
"It's a terrible tragedy -- the last thing we want to happen,” said school spokesman Dam Meisenzahl, who added that both men were guests at a student’s room in the Hale Wainani dormitory, but neither were University of Hawaii students.
"Of course, our condolences go out to their friends and family,” Meisenzahl added.
Since the school year has not yet started, only around 20 students were living in the 600-person dorm when the incident occurred. Meisenzahl said that the university has contacted each resident to offer counseling, a service that is available to other students as well.
“The guy who tried to save the other one was a pretty brave dude,” a 19-year-old University of Hawaii sophomore, who requested to remain anonymous, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser. “I got to give him a lot of credit because I don’t think many people would do that.”
The sophomore sympathized with the younger man who jumped, saying: “His life at that moment could have been horrific. Getting intoxicated could have pushed him over the edge.”
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students, according to Suicide.org. Most of these deaths are caused by untreated depression, which often surfaces during the challenging and confusing transition of college that makes many students feel helpless and alone. Suicide.org recommends helping a possibly suicidal person by simply reaching out to them and asking how they are doing.
The 24-hour National Suicide Prevention helpline is (800) 273-8255.