USM student dies of ‘blunt force injuries’


Early Saturday, USM student and Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity member Cole Whaley died of “blunt force injuries” at the DoubleTree hotel located at 300 Canal St. in New Orleans, according to Orleans Parish Coroner Jeffrey Rouse.

New Orleans Police Department reports stated Whaley fell through a closed 11th-story window and landed in an outdoor area located on the fourth floor near the hotel pool.

“Findings from the autopsy performed by my office on Mr. Whaley reveal injuries consistent with reported circumstances including multiple skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage,” Rouse said.

According to Rouse, Whaley’s preliminary cause of death has been classified as ‘blunt force injuries.’ Whaley’s final cause of death is currently under investigation and is pending toxicology test results.

A spokeswoman for the the coroner’s office said New Orleans police had initially classified the death as unusual but later classified it as a “Signal 29” or “death.”

Interfraternity Council President Ryan Delmas and Greek Life Director Charles Childress declined to comment.

Southern Miss Student Counseling Services will offer support to students in need.

SCS can be contacted at 601.266.4829 during the week and at 601.606.4357 on weekends.

This story will be updated as more information is made available.