WJTV News Channel 12 - Hundreds turn out for Jonathon Bennett vigil

Hundreds turn out for Jonathon Bennett vigil

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21-year-old Jonathon Scott Bennett of Wilson. 21-year-old Jonathon Scott Bennett of Wilson.
It happened in the woods behind University Manor. It happened in the woods behind University Manor.
Bennett was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Bennett was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.

Hundreds of Jonathon's Bennett's friends and classmates showed up to honor the ECU student killed in a tragic accident 

Students, friends and family members gathered in the Memorial Garden on ECU's Campus Thursday night. 

Friends describe Jonathon as a kind, caring all around great guy.  People shared memories, sang songs and talked about how much Jonathon would be missed. 


--Previous Story--

Friends and family plan to come together Thursday night to honor the life of an ECU student killed in a tragic accident.

Police say early Wednesday morning 21-year-old Jonathon Bennett was killed after he fell from a tree and landed on a metal post.

Bennett was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and a Student Ambassador.

--- Previous Story ---

A freak accident killed an ECU student, leaving his friends, family and fellow students in shock.
Police say the student fell from a suspended, overturned tree and was impaled on a metal post.

It happened overnight Wednesday at University Manor Apartments in Greenville.

It's heartbreaking for everyone who knew the college student.

His name is Jonathon Bennett. He's an ECU junior from Wilson, who police said had been drinking alcohol and hanging out with his friends in the wooded area behind the complex around one o'clock Wednesday morning.
That's when they said a branch Bennett was walking on broke and gave way.
He fell from about 8 feet in the air and was impaled on a waist-high metal post that was sticking out of the ground. Police believe he died instantly.
Richard Horton met Bennett that night and had to make the 911 call.

"It was crazy because he said something to me before he grabbed the branch and the branch snapped. So it's kind of like I don't really know how to feel," said Richard Horton, who made the 911 call. "It's tragic. It's an eye-opener, it really is, being that was the first time I'd seen something like that."

Bennett was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

The fraternity released the following statement this afternoon about the incident:

"We are saddened to share the news that Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity suffered a tragic loss on April 24th when East Carolina University student and TKE member Jonathon Bennett died. It is very sad day for TKE. The thoughts and prayers of the entire TKE Nation go out to the Bennett Family and the East Carolina University community. Jonathon was a wonderful TKE man through and through holding the ideals of charity, esteem and love throughout his life. Words cannot describe the incredible passion Jonathon shared with his fraternity brothers. He will be greatly missed.

The Fraternity thanks the professional staff of East Carolina University who are providing onsite grief counselors to the fraternity's members. TKE has onsite professional and local support with ECU TKE alumni and other volunteers. TKE will continue to monitor the well-being of its members and provide support wherever possible. We ask and hope that the public and media respect the privacy of the family, the ECU community, and the Fraternity as it prepares to honor Frater Jonathon's life."

Bennett was majoring in geographic information science and technology and was a member of Geo-Bowl, a team that competed in Jeopardy-like competitions about geography.

We'll have more details as they become available.

--- Original Story ---

Greenville Police say an East Carolina University student died near a student apartment complex overnight.

Greenville Police and Greenville Fire/EMS units were called to the University Manor Apartments off 10th Street around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say a 21-year-old was walking with friends across a downed tree in woods behind the apartment complex.

Friends tell police the victim fell 6 to 8 feet, was impaled on a metal fence post and died on scene.

No foul play is suspected, but police say alcohol use may have been a factor in the incident.

The victim's name has not yet been released.

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