West Virginia student from WNY dies in ICU

MORGANTOWN, W.V. (WIVB) – A West Virginia University student from Williamsville has died, according to the university’s website. Nolan Burch, 18, was a freshman at the college and graduated from Canisius High School.

The university released a statement on their website, Friday. It reads in part, “Words cannot describe the heartache we, as a West Virginia University family, feel at the loss of one of our own – Nolan Michael Burch – who passed away today.”

“The outpouring of love and support from his friends and this community has been what you would expect from Mountaineers, and I would ask that you continue to keep the Burch family and many friends in your thoughts and prayers.” – WVU President Gordon Gee.

Former teachers and teammates at Canisius High School remembered Burch fondly Friday morning. They said he was known for being popular and involved in activities, hockey being his favorite. They said he was full of life and fun.

Burch was found unconscious Wednesday night.  Sources told our CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, Burch was drinking heavily while pledging at a frat house. Police are interviewing fraternity members.

Morgantown Police said someone at the Kappa Sigma house found him late Wednesday night and started CPR. They called 911. First responders took him to the hospital.

His family and loved ones traveled to Morgantown to be by his side.

This isn’t the first time the university has made national news. Recently, 19 fraternity members were arrested for alcohol related charges.

There were also riots after one of the biggest college football upsets in the country.

West Virginia University Senior Danny Turk discussed if things were out of control on campus. He said, “I know it might seem like that, you know, with the big Baylor win and the riots there.  Obviously with this hazing and all these things going on, but, stuff like this really has been going on for years here.”

Another senior, John Morris, said, “A lot of people drink and party at college.  It’s a shame one bad incident has to end this way.  It’s tough.”

The university suspended all fraternity and sorority activities. Kappa sigma, the frat house where he was found, says they are also investigating what happened.

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