Services Planned for Notre Dame Junior - NBC Chicago

Services Planned for Notre Dame Junior

Notre Dame Officials Say Weather Seemed Normal on Day of Accident



    Celebrate This Holiday Season in Lively St. Charles
    Declan Sullivan

    Funeral services have been scheduled for the Notre Dame junior from Long Grove who died Wednesday while filming a Fighting Irish football practice.

    Declan Sullivan was perched atop a scissor lift near the football field during a wind advisory when the lift either collapsed or blew over.

    A wake will be held Sunday at Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home in Lake Zurich.  A funeral mass is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Buffalo Grove. The burial will be private. 

    Despite the known windy conditions, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said the weather was not an issue when he walked in to La Bar Practice Complex, reports the Chicago Sun Times.

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    Several hundred students packed into the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the University of Notre Dame campus Thursday night in a Mass of Remembrance for Declan Sullivan.
    (Published Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010)

    Swarbrick said the weather was unremarkable before an extraordinary burst of wind toppled the video tower on which Sullivan was standing to record the practice. 

    "I turned to face north and experienced a pretty extraordinary burst of wind," said Swarbrick.  "Things started flying by me that had otherwise been stationary for all of practice-- Gatorade containers, towels, etc.  I noticed the netting on the goal posts start to bend dramatically and I heard a crash," reports the Chicago Sun Times.

    Sullivan had tweeted during practice that the wind up on the tower was "terrifying." He noted the predictions of hazardous weather on his Facebook account earlier, writing: "Gusts of wind up to 60 mph well today will be fun at work... I guess I've lived long enough."  Within hours of his death, his family made both profiles private.

    "We are committed first and foremost to conducting an absolutely thorough and complete investigation," Swarbrick said.  "There's a lot to learn here... We don't have those answers today."

    Meanwhile, the University held a remembrance mass in Sullivan's honor Thursday night.  The mass ended with the congregation swaying as they sang the alma mater, which is also sung after every home football game.

    The football team still plans to host Tulsa on Saturday as scheduled, but they will wear decals on their helmets to honor Sullivan.