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Local News

October 14, 2013

Hartwick student dies from fall

Megan Dunleavy, 21, was working at festival in Thompson

A Hartwick College student working at a festival that raised money to reform marijuana laws died after accidentally falling from a roof at the event site, sources said.

Megan Dunleavy, 21, of Redding, Conn., fell from a five-story roof of a building at Kutsher’s Resort Hotel in the town of Thompson, state police at Liberty in Sullivan County said.

Foul play wasn’t suspected, troopers said in a media release, and Dunleavy died of unspecified injuries. Troopers had responded to a report at 12:15 a.m. Thursday about a woman who had fallen from a roof.

Dunleavy had been staying at Kutsher’s while working for concert promoter Damn Sam Productions and assisting in the organization of the New York Harvest Festival and Freedom Fair, scheduled for Oct. 11 to 14, the release said.

The event was a fundraiser for NY Cannabis Alliance and Damn Sam’s activism, mostly supporting marijuana laws and reform, the organization’s website and festival Facebook page said.

Dunleavy, a senior at Hartwick, was a double major in biology and anthropology, according to Valerie Capullo, spokeswoman at the Oneonta college. The college was notified Friday about Dunleavy’s death, she said, and support services have been available from student affairs and counseling staff professionals to anyone within the campus community.

In a message to the campus community, college President Margaret L. Drugovich said that Dunleavy had attended Joel Barlow High School in Redding before joining Hartwick.

“I have spoken with Megan’s parents and have shared with them our collective sorrow for their loss,” Drugovich said in the memo. “I also extend my deepest sympathy to those of you who knew Megan, and her many friends.” 

Hartwick is a private liberal arts and sciences college that enrolls about 1,500 students.

The 17th annual New York Harvest Festival was shut down by the town of Thompson for code violations at the resort, a notice on the Damn Sam website said, and after efforts to move the event were unsuccessful, the festival was canceled.

“We feel we have been unfairly targeted by the town and we intend to prove it,” the statement said. “We will issue refunds as soon as we can but right now our family needs to mourn the loss of our dear friend and establish whether Harvest Fest will be able to happen at a later date.”

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