MSU spokesman describes fight to save student's life after scoreboard tragedy

MSU spokesman describes fight to save student's life after scoreboard tragedy
Andrew Demboski, 21, was a Mississippi State student from Ocean Springs. (Photo source: Facebook)
Andrew Demboski, 21, was a Mississippi State student from Ocean Springs. (Photo source: Facebook)

STARKVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Andrew Demboski died around 2:50 a.m. after a nearly one hour 15 minute struggle to somehow pull him to safety and attempt to keep him alive.

According to Mississippi State University Spokesman Sid Salter, the young man from Ocean Springs and two of his friends scaled the locked fence around Davis Wade Stadium this weekend. Salter said the three students climbed to the top of the scoreboard, remained there a few minutes, then began to climb down. That's when something went terribly wrong.

"Mr. Demboski apparently fell through the roof after stepping on a portion of the roof that would not support his weight," Salter said Monday. "There are a lot of places in there in the dark where you can get hurt."

The 21-year-old suffered what were considered grave injuries.  And he got trapped in a position where pulling him to safety was problematic. Rescue teams devised a bucket and pulley system to attempt to free Demboski from the video board.  Before that, rescue teams needed bolt cutters to cut off a padlock and pry open the gates so they could get inside.

Despite their best efforts, the MSU junior died at the scene, nearly an hour and 15 minutes after authorities first learned about the incident.

Out of respect to the Demboski family and to the investigation, Salter refrained from sharing many more details from the Saturday night. Instead, he stressed over and over again the university's renewed focus on keeping trespassers out of Davis Wade Stadium.

"The next time we have somebody cross that fence and trespass and put themselves and other people in danger and get us to this situation, then the university intends and we want everyone to know it, we intend to react strongly, forcefully and to the fullest extent of the law," Salter promised.

"Moving forward, MSU intends to review all of our security measures involving the stadium.  Why wouldn't we?" Salter said.

University officials are also looking at surveillance footage from the area and promise to research improving that technology in the future.

Despite saying the students were trespassing, Salter said MSU will not charge the surviving companions with any crime because they've already been through enough.

Demboski was described as "an outstanding student" by the MSU spokesman.

"Students sometimes make poor decisions.  And sometimes the consequences of those decisions are horrific," the MSU spokesman stressed. "And that was certainly the case early Saturday morning."
 
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