Friday, April 06, 2007

Purdue Points Blame At Steffey

It is quite possible Purdue student Wade Steffey walked into that darkened, campus utility room on his own volition back in January and was accidentally electrocuted to death. That's at least one possibility. There is also a possibility he wound up in that utility room under completely different circumstances. The truth is we may never know, but as long as there is a possibility of foul play, the university should keep an open mind about what happened to Steffey. It is not. While Purdue president Martin Jischke says the university is continuing to investigate what happened to Steffey, his public statements make it clear what he thinks happened and he thinks the fault lies with Steffey. Jischke tells the Lafayette Journal and Courier:

"Wade Steffey's death apparently was caused by a series of tragic coincidences and unfortunate decisions."

"To get into the room, he had to climb through or over a metal railing and then drop down about five feet into the well where the door was located," Jischke said.

"At this point, we don't know whether Wade somehow opened the locked door, or whether the mechanism was defective or had inadvertently been left unlocked. We're in the process of conducting a thorough investigation to get the answers to those questions.

"However, the location and nature of the door make it very clear that it is not a public entrance. It certainly is not a place that a person would or could enter accidentally under normal circumstances."

Jischke said he won't comment further on Steffey's death until after the investigation is completed and a report is issued "in a few weeks."

Of course, Jischke doesn't include in those unfortunate decisions the school's own failure to post a warning sign outside the entrance to the utility room or ensure the room was properly locked at all times.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Of course, Jischke doesn't include in those unfortunate decisions the school's own failure to post a warning sign outside the entrance to the utility room or ensure the room was properly locked at all times."

R.I.P. Personal Responsibility

We have now reached a point in this country where 100% personal responsibility is dead. Someone or something is always responsibile for the way the world works.

From what I have heard (correct me if I am wrong), Steffey was denied entry to the dorm because he did not have ID and/or did not live in that dorm and it was after hours. Steffey, refusing to take no for an answer, knowingly and intentionally entered this room, likely trying to sneak into the building.

Obviously, to prevent such accidents, we will need to raise taxes and give the money to universities and schools so they can post an actual human being to guard these doors 24/7. Heaven forbid a lock fail, signs get ignored, people willingly trespass, doors get warped and fail to secure, etc. etc..

The only way around this is round the clock security with actual people who can let idiots know they should not enter a place they have no business being. We need to do it "FOR THE CHILDREN!!!"

Anonymous said...

Do you think that Steffey was looking for a glory hole in that darkened room?

Advance Indiana said...

You are sick, anon 10:24. And anon 10:12, you again assume you know what happened--you don't. Were you there? Did you see him walk into that room?

Edward Fox said...

Behind the lack of "personal responsibility" and candor, I see the long shadows of insurance companies and (their) lawyers. We no longer make personal decisions; everything we do must avoid risk at any cost because the insurance companies own the risk and have no stake in good behavior.

Anonymous said...

AI:
Let's see ... "possibly" intoxicated -- he'd come from a frat party, after all -- he climbed over a rail, jumped 5 feet into a well and entered a darkened room in an attempt to access a building in which he did not belong.
Sorry, but I'm with Anon 10:12.

Anonymous said...

Maybe when the Zapruder tapes come out we will finally get the truth! Enough with the conspiracy b.s., drunk kid turned away from dorm without an id, tries to sneak in through other means, dies in a tragic ACCIDENT.

Anonymous said...

Gee, the anonymous Purdue spinmeisters seem busy on this blog today. Nice people.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:59:
Purdue spinmeister? Yeah, right. Just someone who believes that Big Brother is not always to blame for our personal failings or the consequences of our actions.
And how do we know you're not an anonymous ambulance chaser who chases liabilty claims?

Advance Indiana said...

The only person hiding their identity here is you anon 12:31--the same anonymous nobody who has been posting most of the anonymous comments on this thread.

Doug said...

This is just an attempt to hedge their bets on legal liability. Steffey's parents have retained counsel. Presumably the good folks over at Stuart & Branigin have advised their Purdue clients about what makes a landowner liable and what makes a landowner not liable, and Purdue is hoping to fall into the latter category. Their job is probably easier than your average landowner, however. I think Purdue is a governmental entity where contributory negligence is a defense and comparative negligence does not apply.

It's nothing personal, I'm sure. Just business.

Advance Indiana said...

Doug, the family has been shamelessly attacked for retaining counsel. They have made it clear they are not expecting to personally benefit from any potential recovery. Instead, they have asked that the recovery, if any, be used for a charitable purpose in their son's name.

Anonymous said...

"Doug, the family has been shamelessly attacked for retaining counsel. They have made it clear they are not expecting to personally benefit from any potential recovery. Instead, they have asked that the recovery, if any, be used for a charitable purpose in their son's name."

The "chaitable purpose" being a nice nest egg for his sister? I could see Purdue being in the wrong if they used a tangle-foot obstruction and razor wire to force Steffey to walk into this area and forced him to walk into this room. They did not. I would say there is a 99% chance Steffey walked into this room on his own free will.

I wonder if the family picked a lawfirm who offered to donate a portion of their 33% to charity? Surely the lawfirm does not want to benefit off this death?

Anonymous said...

The "personal responsibility" poster here knows no more than me or anyone else.

Shameless accusations about the family's motives are callous and completely uncalled for.

They want the truth, period.

I bet they realize, the truth could be unflattering to Wade. He might've been drunk and tried to gain entry to the dorm improperly.

Just an afterthought, here...the last time you were drunk, were you able to open a hard-to-open door, climb a 5.5 ft. fence, and get inside a small enclosed area?

Wilson46201 said...

Dumb question: does anybody know if Wade had his ID with his body? There's a lot of speculation that he didnt have ID and tried to circumvent security to enter. So where was his ID ?

lori said...

5:37 pm, you forgot to add, with only one shoe on. I hope that his parents wil finally learn the truth.

Anonymous said...

folks- while everyone here is discussing whether or not Wade is responsible for his acts, and debating his decision to enter the room, and discuss how perhaps he should have assumed this was not a proper enterance, and speculate on if he had his ID or if he was trying to gain access without permission, lets all keep our eye on the ball-

NO MATTER WHAT, PEOPLE DO NOT EXPECT TO DIE WHEN TRYING TO ENTER A BUILDING.

Sure, perhaps Wade should not have attempted to enter this place, nevertheless, he did not deserve to DIE for this decision. The school is RESPONSIBLE. They placed a door there- people USE DOORS to enter places. Without a "WARNING- ENTERING COULD BE FATAL" sign, how would Wade know he could DIE???

Anonymous said...

folks- while everyone here is discussing whether or not Wade is responsible for his acts, and debating his decision to enter the room, and discuss how perhaps he should have assumed this was not a proper enterance, and speculate on if he had his ID or if he was trying to gain access without permission, lets all keep our eye on the ball-

NO MATTER WHAT, PEOPLE DO NOT EXPECT TO DIE WHEN TRYING TO ENTER A BUILDING.

Sure, perhaps Wade should not have attempted to enter this place, nevertheless, he did not deserve to DIE for this decision. The school is RESPONSIBLE. They placed a door there- people USE DOORS to enter places. Without a "WARNING- ENTERING COULD BE FATAL" sign, how would Wade know he could DIE???

Anonymous said...

What makes you think there is a possibility of foul play? Do you think somebody murdered Steffey and dumped his body in the room? Do you know something that we don't?

E.C.W. said...

I am glad to see that AdvanceIndiana is keeping this dialogue alive.

You are right to point out that the university should be open to the possibility of foul play.

The university seems determined to make a case in it own defense because of their own lack of signage, and as a result, they are obstructing justice.

I saw the diagram of the utility room, and the position of his body could produce further contradictions in terms of how it got where it was. You can see the diagram of the utility room (which appeared in the Indianapolis Star) at http://www.briansprediction.com
/MISSING/publicr/Steffey%20electrical%20room.gif

People will speculate fruitlessly, but the point is that the university should be taking an open stance and not blaming anyone until a full investigation has been done.

I hope that Wade's parents can get the support they need to launch their own independent investigation. The university should be showing open support of their efforts, and not blaming their son. The university's stance has been mean and disgusting.

Anonymous said...

President Jishke has done much good in his tenure at Purdue. He has almost single-handedly elevated Purdue's stature to even with IU's.

But his sorry-ass comments on this issue, and his presiding over the entire search/post-death situation, diminiish his accomplishments greatly.

The whole damned university needs some PR 101.

Oops, sorry, that's only taught in a liberal arts university.

OK then, they need some common sense.

Which isn't taught anywhere. You either have it or you don't.

And they don't. In spades.

Rest well, Wade Steffey. Your parents, and thousands of others, will not rest well until the truth is learned.

That truth may benefit the university, it may damn them. Whatever.

James said...

I have a source in the police department that confirms one unfortunate rumour. While Steffey had not been drinking, as all those that were with him had reported, he was under the influence or halluciniginic drugs, possibly LSD.

I wish no harm on Steffey's family, nor do I wish to vindicate the nasty things that have been said here. Merely, I wish to stop ugly mudslinging by dispensing truth.