OU Student Dies On Campus Following Fall From Evans Hall Roof
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A student at the University of Oklahoma was found dead on the campus early Sunday morning. Now friends and family are remembering the 22-year-old senior from Edmond as a hard worker, beautiful friend and a fun girl.
Sources tell News 9 Casey Cooke was drinking at a bar near campus before making the climb to the rooftop of a building, where it is believed she could have slipped and fell. Emergency crews responded and performed CPR on Cooke. However, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cooke's best friend and roommate, Alex Pettigrew, said Cooke went to Evans Hall to reflect, as she was starting a new chapter and applying to med school.
"We are seniors and they go up there. It's cool to climb to the top of the building. They go up there and look at all the buildings over campus. It's a neat view; something we have never seen before because we are just used to going in the classroom," Pettigrew said.
Pettigrew believes Cooke was on the phone with a mutual friend when she reportedly heard cops.
"I think she got scared that she was going to get in trouble and tried to hurry down the fire escape and just slipped," she said.
OU posted signs warning students of the dangers, as this has been a problem in the past. A spokesperson for the university released the following statement:
"The university has, in consultation with the Norman Fire Department, begun an analysis of its external fire escapes. The age and historic nature of many of our buildings, including Evans Hall, present complexities in fire safety implementation."
Pettigrew is devastated and said looking from the Evans Hall rooftop was like a rite of passage.
"I have tons of friends who have done it. Prior to this experience I would have done it myself. It wasn't something that was seen as a risk. Something that was so preventable and I just can't believe that this is how things have ended," she said.
Cooke's family released a statement Monday, saying in part, "Since her birth, we have celebrated the life of a young woman who was loved by so many. We will always remember her beautiful smile and innocent sincerity."
Cooke's funeral will be held Thursday at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City at 10 a.m.