"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss," said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame's president. "Our hearts go out to the student's family and friends and our prayers and profound sympathies are with them during this incredibly difficult time. The loss of someone so young is a terrible shock and a great sadness. Our entire community shares in the family's grief."
A special Mass will be held at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday at 10 (pm) in memory of Sullivan.
Winds in the South Bend area were listed just under 40 mph Wednesday according to WSBT.com. A wind gust of 53 mph was reported prior to 5 pm.
The South Bend Tribune obtained the following Twitter posts by Sullivan, to his Facebook site:
3:22 (prior to the start of practice): "Gusts of wind up to 60 mph well today will be fun at work ... I guess I've lived long enough."
4:06 (during practice): "Holy (expletive) holy (expletive) this is terrifying."
The portable tower tipped over approximately 45 minutes later.
The Notre Dame team practiced indoors on Tuesday before moving back outside to the LaBar Practice Complex for Wednesday's 3:30 session.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Declan's family and friends," said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly through a statement. "Declan was a diligent student worker in our video department and had a tremendous personality and great sense of humor. He brightened the days for all that had the privilege to work with him, and the Notre Dame football family will dearly miss him."
According to the South Bend Tribune and University website, the cause of the accident is under investigation. The University is making pastoral care and grief counseling available to students.