University of Illinois Student Dies After Falling From Balcony

A student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign died after falling from a balcony on Friday night, according to Champaign police.

Around 10:36 p.m., authorities responded to a call at an apartment building in the 0-100 block of East John Street, Champaign police said in a release.

Upon arrival, officers found a man unresponsive, according to police. He was later identified as 23-year-old Jonathan Morales.

First responders provided emergency care on the scene, officials said. Morales was then taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:50 p.m.

Originally from suburban Franklin Park, Morales was a communication major at U. of I., authorities said.

His death occurred on what's known as "Unofficial St. Patrick's Day," or simply "Unofficial," an annual event that draws thousands to campus and the surrounding area.

The celebration is widely considered a "drinking holiday" and has previously faced criticism over safety concerns. Morales' death was the third in connection with "Unofficial" since it began in 1995, a university spokesperson told the Daily Illini

Further details on Friday's incident were not immediately available, according to police, though preliminary investigations suggested Morales’ death was accidental.

An autopsy was scheduled to be conducted on Saturday, and Champaign police and the Champaign County Coroner’s office continue to investigate.

A GoFundMe page set up to help cover Morales' funeral expenses called him a "wonderful happy spirited young man who loved dancing and music."

"Jon you will forever be in our hearts," the page continues. "You clearly left many of us with loving memories that we will forever cherish."

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Investigations Division of the Champaign Police Department at (217) 351-4545, or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at (217) 373-8477.

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