College student dead after fall at frat party; help not called for hours

FLICKR/PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Published:
Updated:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Police are investigating the death of a Pennsylvania State University student from New Jersey who fell down the stairs at a fraternity house, CBS New York station WCBS reports.

Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore who was studying engineering, was injured at the Beta Theta Pi frat house last week. He died in the hospital two days later.

State College police Lt. Keith Robb said an ambulance responded to the fraternity house Friday morning, WCBS 880 Radio reported.

State College police say there were 12 hours in between the time emergency responders found Piazza unconscious and the time of his injury at the fraternity party. Emergency responders found him at the bottom of the basement steps in the fraternity house, according to State College police.

“They were told he had been at a party there the night before and had fallen down some basement steps around 11 p.m. the following night. That would have been Feb. 2,” Lt. Robb said. “I was notified by the Dauphin County coroner on Saturday morning that Mr. Piazza was pronounced dead.”

Piazza, from Flemington, New Jersey, was a graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School and an advanced placement student who played football, ran track, and was a peer mentor.

Now, the coroner will work to determine the cause of Piazza’s death. Police said the fraternity is working with detectives.

“We are in the process of obtaining video from inside the fraternity and we are working closely with the Pennsylvania Office of Student Affairs,” Robb said.

Piazza’s wake is scheduled for Friday with his funeral the following day.

Beta Theta Pi has temporarily suspended operations at Penn State as the investigation continues. The fraternity also been put on a “cease and desist” order from the school’s Interfraternity Council and the fraternity’s national organization.