‘Nothing I could do’: Students describe moments surrounding deadly fall at UC San Diego dorm

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SAN DIEGO — Students are in shock following the death of an 18-year-old UC San Diego freshman who university officials say fell from a dorm room window Friday.

According to the medical examiner, the student, identified as Aaron Fan, was at a party on the 8th floor of Tioga Hall when campus police came to report a noise complaint. 

Witnesses said he went into the bathroom and shortly after fell out of the window and onto the ground just outside the main dorm entrance. 

Freshman Colin Tournat, who lives at Tioga Hall, walked out of the building seconds after Fan fell. Tournat said his friends saw the horrible incident while waiting to be let into the dorm. They immediately called 911. 

Tournat said he rushed over to Fan and realized he was unconscious but had a pulse. He noticed Fan had several broken bones and tried to open up his airway with the assistance of a dorm housing advisor.

“He was in my arms breathing and then there was nothing I could do, unfortunately there’s nothing anyone can do,” he said.

Tournat lives a floor below Fan. He said his friends and Fan’s roommates are deeply traumatized by the incident. 

“No one should have to see that,” Tournat said. “It didn’t hit me until police and paramedics arrived. I stepped back from [Fan]. I was freaked out.”

Fan was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla with multiple injuries. Doctors tried to save him, but he was pronounced dead just after 3:30 a.m. Saturday. 

“I’ve never really had to deal with death and having to do with someone who I was pretty close with, someone who had a big part of my high school experience and life in general is very hard,” said Deepali Yedulapuram, who was friends with Fan. “I don’t really know how to process it.”

Yedulapuram went to Westview High School with Fan and participated in Mock Trial and Speech and Debate clubs together. She and other friends placed flowers outside Tioga Hall Sunday, remembering the 18-year-old as a genuine, loving person. 

“We would go to the gym a lot over the summer and he would push me to be better and push me to hit new PR’s, something like that,” Yedulapuram said. “He is very supportive and very helpful.”

In a statement, university officials said they would provide counseling and other support services to their students and team members.

Students who tried to help Fan hope the university reconsiders dorm safety to prevent something like this from happening again. 

“There are no screens on these windows and screens can be removed, but it’s one little extra thing where they could potentially save someone’s life,” Tournat said. 

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