UC Berkeley student in coma after falling from fraternity house

Freshman Andrew Crowley is in 'critical, but stabilized' condition

UC Berkeley freshman Andrew Crowley was injured after falling off the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house.
UC Berkeley freshman Andrew Crowley was injured after falling off the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house.

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Update: Police said Tuesday afternoon that UC Berkeley freshman Andrew Crowley is in a coma in the hospital after falling off the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house — commonly known as Fiji — Saturday night.

Crowley, who is on the Cal men’s crew team, is currently in the intensive-care unit at Highland General Hospital in Oakland after he suffered severe head trauma and a broken neck from his fall, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, spokesperson for the Berkeley Police Department. Kusmiss described Crowley’s condition as “critical, but stabilized.”

Alameda County Medical Center spokesperson Jerri Randrup confirmed Tuesday evening that Crowley is in critical condition.

While Crowley remains unconscious, Kusmiss said she was not sure whether the coma was induced by medicine or if Crowley could not be awoken at all.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Andrew and his family as they cope with this unfortunate set of circumstances,” said Sandy Barbour, Cal’s athletic director, in an email Monday. “We are assisting his parents with whatever support we can provide and coordinating with doctors at Highland Hospital and Cal personnel to aid in any way possible. All of us in Cal Athletics wish Andrew a speedy and full recovery.”

Police responded to a call at 11:34 p.m. Saturday and found Crowley unconscious with “obvious head trauma and a lot of bleeding” between the Fiji fraternity house at 2395 Piedmont Ave. and the neighboring fraternity house, Phi Kappa Tau, at 2335 Piedmont Ave., according to Kusmiss.

Kusmiss said in an email that witness accounts and BPD examination of the scene indicate that Crowley was trying to scale the exterior of the building by climbing a drain pipe that runs vertically to the roof of the three-story building. The student apparently almost made it to the third floor of the building when the pipe separated from the wall and he fell backwards, according to Kusmiss.

Crowley showed signs of alcohol intoxication, according to Kusmiss. She said there is no evidence of foul play and that the department is treating the incident as a “terrible accident”, according to Kusmiss but per BPD protocol, “homicide detectives were notified due to the severity of the young man’s injuries.”

Kusmiss said the police department’s detectives are in regular contact with Crowley’s family.

According to Crowley’s Facebook, he was born in British Columbia and attended Brentwood College School, a boarding school in British Columbia.  Crowley is not a member of either fraternity.

Crowley is 6-foot-3 and weighs 190 pounds, according to the Cal men’s crew roster. Crowley’s brother, Spencer Crowley, is a former Cal men’s rower who graduated last year, according to Barbour. Spencer Crowley was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, according to the fraternity’s website.

“(Andrew Crowley) is a young man who is just beginning his college career, with an opportunity to follow in the path of his older brother,” Barbour said in the email.

Staff writer Daphne Chen contributed to this report.

Sarah Burns and Soumya Karlamangla are the city news editors.

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  • N1

    FIJI: purifying the human gene pool since 1982

    • AndrewG

      Dawg u dont know what ur talking about. Were like da best frat on frat row. Plus what happend in 1982? Your just bullshiting. Fijis da best!

      • Gman6281

        WE ALL KNOW PIKE DA BEST MOFOOO

  • Guest 1125

    Friends don’t let friends drink to the point of alcohol poisoning. Get it together students. Sanity and healthy living are worth the effort.

  • Barry French

    Hey Andrew,
    Heard about your accident…you may not remember us, but we remember you as a young lad…!
    Wishing you, and your family all the best.  Heard today that you are showing positive signs…hug your mom and dad!! 
    Best wishes from Lantzville,….the French Family (Derek and Spencer were old buds from school). xo

  • Carlos

    Has it been established if this kid was acting solo, or were others there watching or maybe even encouraging him?

  • Guest

    If I remember correctly, this is not the first time for this frat.  I think someone fell off their roof and died in the early 90’s.

  • Guest

    Can the cops please shut down all the fraternities. As a resident of Berkeley for the last 25 years and as a proud Cal alumni all I can say is that these establishments do no more than provide alcohol to underage students and cause a huge amount of trouble for the locality. 

    Not to mention that frat-parties also draw miscreants to the university area that becomes really unsafe on weekend nights as a result.

    • ABC

       So nice to see that your Cal education taught you to not generalize.

    • guest

      Oh ya, because if you shut down all of the fraternities, then students will stop drinking and getting crazy on the weekends! You are a fucking idiot. 

  • Hank Teti

    Our prayers and love go out to the Crowley Family. I’m told that Andrew and his older brother are gentlemen. His brother was a great rower and an asset to Cal,s  rowing team and we pray  Andrew  will recover and also be as great a rower.  More importantly we pray for a full recovery and comfort for Andrew’s family.       Hank  Teti and Family

  • Kirk Kozak

    1991

    University of California, Berkeley

    Phi Gamma Delta

    Alcohol-related pledging death

    Pledge John Moncello, 18, came to the house when ordered even though he
    warned members he had been drinking. Unsteady, he fell to his death
    from a fire escape.

    Alcohol was a factor in the death. 

  • Kirk Kozak

    1991

    University of Missouri, Rolla

    St. Pat’s Board

    Alcohol-related hazing

    Mike Nisbet, 28, choked on his own vomit during a drinking initiation into a campus local club.

    Alcohol was direct cause of death.

  • Nastaransp

    My heart goes out to this young man and his family for this huge consequence he is paying for the mistake he made. As a Cal Alumni, and mother of another freshman rower, he is in my thoughts and prayer for a full recovery so he can realize his dreams and possibilities. 

  • Fuck Kia (down south)

    LOL what a fucking douchebag, this Crowley motherfucker. I don’t think it was drugs or alcohol. I think he was just fucking some other guy’s ass a little too hard and was imbalanced after the act.

    • Vancouver Islander

      Wow,what a nasty comment,the guys in a coma.Thoughts and best wishes to a recovery from Nanaimo

  • friend

    TO ALL of the insensitive people here, we don’t need your negativity and your jokes. I know this kid and i went to highschool with him and personally am worried for him and hearing people being absolutely inhumaine and cold hearted is seriously not neccessary. He messed up and did something stupid while he was drunk, so what, like none of you have ever done something stupid and just gotten away with it. His family and friends read this and its seriously not okay, stop being assholes and don’t comment when its not your place to say something. How would you feel if this was your friend or family? So fuck you all.

    • Fuck Kia (down south)

      No, fuck you. Douchebags who show up and present themselves as low-lifes who do not think they deserve to have a capital letter to refer to themselves (i) should not demand anything.

      • guest2

        You really need to grow up.

  • Guest

    Reading some comments from people in this thread makes me have no hope in humanity. Andrew is a well-loved young man. Yes, he may have been drinking and done something stupid while drunk, but I’m almost certain we all have whether you want to admit it or not. We all like to have fun and can do reckless things when intoxicated. Even if you can’t accept that, then at least for God’s sake have some sympathy for his friends and family and what they are going through during this difficult time. Wishing him a full and speedy recovery; my thoughts are with his family and friends.

    • guest

      thank you and bless you.

  • Zurla

    We heard the awful news today, I feel sorry because i know the father of this kid and mother. I couldn’t imagine the pain your going trough, because i’ve got kids too and it would be terrifying to have that happend. I just wanted to say i feel for you and keep your chins up ill be praying for him to pull trough. From zurla janitorial.

  • Truth

    Can you say ‘lawsuit’?

  • Student2011

    While a stupid act by an intoxicated youth, the appropriate response is no less than complete sympathy for a young man whos future is uncertain

  • student11

    It disgusts me that anyone would use this as a forum to discuss anything other than condolences for the Crowley family.  Clearly there are way too many people in this world that have never suffered a loss.  Until you experience a family heartbreak, shut up and keep the cruel commentary to yourself. 

    • GoldenBear

      I guess climbing up the side of buildings is fairly typical behavior comparable to walking on the sidewalk or sitting on a chair. 

    • ABC

       I’m pretty sure his family and friends aren’t flocking to the Daily Cal comment section to seek support.

  • ABC

    Forrest had it right – stupid is as stupid does.  Good thing the guy didn’t wind up dead.

    • Anon

       Everybody does stupid shit while drunk. The fact this kid had to pay such a high price is a tragedy. I only hope he makes a full recovery

      • AndreuS22

        there’s a difference between doing stupid things while drunk, and doing things that can (very easily, considering it’s a 190 pound person and a DRAIN PIPE) cause death or serious injury..

  • guest

    Chug chug chug chug chug chug chug
    Freshman freshman freshman freshman
    Do somethin crazy! Do somethin crazy! Do somethin crazy! Do somethin crazy 

    • TV

      Get the fuck out of here. Who the fuck do you think you are? Have some respect. Seriously. What makes you think you have the right to make a joke out of a situation like this? Where are your fucking manners.

  • Former Fiji Neighbor

    I lived next door to Fiji many years ago.  One morning I came out of my unit to discover that an intoxicated student had fallen from the Fiji house and died feet from where I had been sleeping.  I wasn’t heard then when I spoke against Fiji’s alcohol culture, and I won’t be heard now.

  • UCB Witness

    Inaccurate reporting: incident was not at Phi Gamma Delta but rather at the neighboring Phi Kappa Tau.

    • guest

      Other articles say that witnesses saw him climbing down from Fiji. They also say that no brothers at Fiji saw him in the house and that there were no events happening at Fiji that night. There are two possibilities. Either he WAS climbing down Fiji and they are trying to cover it up or cause confusion so as to save them getting in trouble from nationals, or that he was actually climbing down from Phi Kappa Tau. That being said, his older brother was a member of Fiji, so it makes more sense that he would have felt comfortable there. However, when reporters went to Phi Tau to ask questions, the person at the door refused to say anything. Wonder what the real story is. Were you an eyeball witness, and if so where did you witness this event from?

      • UCB witness

        eyeball witness- The distance travelled from where the pipe at fiji is to where is landed is too great to be realistic. He landed on the phi tau side of the fence. If that distance were to be covered the pipe would have had to bend back all the way, which would have, in a sense, lowered him to the ground not resulted in the fall that all witnesses reported. Both the president of Fiji and the police officers circled the scene and concluded that there was no way he could have fallen from fiji. 
        The bottom line is that no one, fiji or phi tau, is really at fault so it doesn’t really matter. This kid was not at either of these fraternities, was given no alcohol from these fraternities and was not a member of these fraternities.  What matters is this kid has a speedy recovery. 

        • Guest

          the pipe DID bend back. Listen, a 190 lb male at 6’3 climbing up an aluminum pipe held into a brick wall with minimal screws will not “bend all the way back” like some Tom and Jerry cartoon and lower him to the ground. I don’t know if UCB Witness has ever seen or felt a rain gutter pipe before, but they’re brittle and prone to SNAPPING. At the very top of the pipe there is the least amount of support for the pipe as a whole, as its being supported by the rest of the pipe below it and the screws that fastens it to the wall.

          Taking your consideration into account, the bending of the pipe, Mr. Crowley bent the pipe backwards and caused it to snap. This would send him in a diagonal angle from WHERE THE PIPE BENT AND BROKE, a little more than three stories up.
          If “Both the president of Fiji and the police officers circled the scene and concluded that there was no way he could have fallen from fiji,” I’d be very concerned with the deductive abilities of both analysts.Alas, the full and speedy recover of Andrew Crowley should be the utmost of cares on everyone’s mind.

        • guest

          Fiji was having a party that night.

    • BerkStudent

      It did occur at Fiji. There are eyewitnesses and a police report that completely agrees withthis. Go look in the alley way between the houses and you can clearly see the broken pipe he fell backwards from. Get your facts straight before posting inaccurate comments. 

      • UCB Witness

        I am one of the eyewitnesses. The police report concluded that there was no possible way he could have landed where he did if he were to fall from fiji. I’m not affiliated with Fiji in any way, shape or form. I’m assuming you’re in phi kappa tau, and are trying to defend yourself

        • Berkstudent

          You’re completely full of shit. I’m friend’s with Andrew’s roommate and he told me what the police concluded. Honestly its gross how people are perverting this story to defend a disgusting, irresponsible establishment like phi gamma delta

    • Guest

      Inaccurate correction: multiple eyewitnesses all saw the man fall from Phi Gamma Delta; the police conducted an investigation of the scene independent of their statements and came to the same conclusion; the pipe that supposedly broke and caused the fall actually broke off and is now missing from the wall of Phi Gamma Delta. Unless, of course, several witnesses lied independent of one another, the police completely failed at doing that which they do for a living, or physics doesn’t apply.

    • Dumbbeaus

      It definitely did happen at Fiji. Police did question people at Phi Kappa Tau but only because people at Phi Kappa Tau’s events that night were eyeball witnesses from their roof. The official police report filed also clearly states that the guy fell when trying to climb one of Fiji’s pipes. The pipe is still broken and visible if anyone wants proof. 

    • Gman55

      oh hi fiji !

  • guest

    I remember Fiji being shut down b/c another kid fell and died.  I think they need to look at their window design.

    • Guest

      Did not occur at Fiji

      • Guest

        it did happen at Fiji. there were multiple eyewitnesses.

    • guest

      how does this have anything to do with windows?

  • Billy Baileys

    he watched too many movies

    • guest

       I blame the parkour vids.

  • guest

    Is this guy a member of Fiji?

    • Guest

      no

    • Guest

      No, his older brother was but graduated last year.

  • Guest

    Not the first time this happened at Fiji. 

  • Guest

    He almost made it.  Went from potential hero to zero.

    • Rick

      I hope to see Andrew at the IRAs this spring.

  • Guest

    One word: Freshman.

    • guest

      you should be ashamed of yourself for saying something like that

  • guest

    Before anyone starts berating this man, ask yourself if you have ever done anything somewhat reckless and probably stupid while drunk. If you are a drinker, then the answer is almost guaranteed to be: ‘yes.’ 

    That being said, regardless of what you may think of this man or Fiji, everyone should consider being sympathetic and sensitive with not only what they say on here, but also in their dealings with any members of Fiji. Imagine if it were one of your friends who had suffered this accident. How would you want people to treat you? And before you even say something like ‘Well, none of my friends would ever do something like that’ – see my previous paragraph. 

    • Pimpathetic

      ” sympathetic and sensitive with not only what they say on here”
      no, fuck that, and welcome to the internet.

    • AnOski

      Yes, “guest,” we get drunk and do stupid things.  None of those has ever included things that might result in great bodily harm, though I did once trip while running in a large flat area (drunk) and rather painfully break a toenail.  I suppose it could have been worse, but…not much.  

      This kid has my sympathies because he’s just that – a kid.  He’s by no means a typical Cal student, drinking or otherwise.  He’s some guy who thought it would be a good idea (while drunk) to scale a three-story+ building via an outer fixture.  

      That, my friend, is rather stupid — no matter how you try to spin it.  But, c’est Fiji.  At least this time the kid hit the brick as opposed to the other way around.  

      • CAL5

        @2fbdd008a3f5da0f13e44e3a8a09ca42:disqus Fuck you.  The brick incident should in no way be remembered with humor.  If you know enough to know about it, you should know better.

        • guesst

          definitely not necessary to personally attack her for that comment. 
          Its all good to take a different stance, but don’t use the daily cal to berate people at your own expense. 
          Would you talk to your mother with that mouth?
          No?
          Well then don’t talk to anyone else with it.
          Please and Thank you.

    • guesst

      I definitely can’t have any sympathy for a “bro” who decided it was a good idea that a 190-crew member wanted to scale a brick wall above CONCRETE one night. I don’t give a fuck if he was on the side of house, sigma kappa, or anywhere else on frat row, he shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place. But of course the people around him were probably intoxicated as well, and could have even been encouraging his drunken display.
      Either way, I’m sure no repercussion will be taken on either of these fraternities and they will go back to pumping copious amounts of alcohol into unsuspecting minors, until someone (read: another person) dies and then maybe, MAYBE they’ll get a slap on the wrist.

      Oh, the 1%.

      • Guest

         He might have done this whether intoxicated or not. My sister’s boyfriend, a water polo player,  in another fraternity that there is no need to name, climbs up the outside of the southside apartment building she lives in to her 3rd floor balcony. There is concrete below and a concrete block wall that is topped by  razor wire, and he does this whether he is somewhat intoxicated or completely sober, despite everyone telling him it is dangerous, idiotic and not encouraging him to do it at all. 
        There is no mention of the extent of this kid’s  injuries. I sure hope he will be ok.

      • Guest

        the poor young man who fell and was gravely injured was not in a fraternity, he was not a “bro”, he was not being cheered on, he was unfortunately too drunk and didn’t realize what he was doing.
        the guy is a fellow cal bear, 18 years old, and gravely injured, show some respect

        • GoldenBear

          I’ve never encountered nor heard of anyone being so drunk they were unaware that they were climbing the side of a building.  On the contrary, there are similar cases that involve drug use, but surely this isn’t one of those, right?

      • Guest

        glad non-greeks dont use stereotypes at all… and i doubt the minors are unsuspecting considering that they leave their homes, beg to get past security at the door, and then battle through a crowd to get drinks..

      • anon

         I hope one of your friends gets hit by a bus.

      • StillAnOski

        The 1%?

        No.
        Most in fraternities live there because it’s a good way to save money and pool resources to throw large parties.  When rent for a single in a frat. will run you $400-450 or so depending on the room/fraternity, it’s a cheaper alternative to on-campus student housing in which you guarantee living with students with little tangible oversight.
        The 1% can afford their own apartments and booze.  
        It’s a joke to think that neither one of these fraternities was giving the kid booze, though.  They all do, and if they didn’t, the little ‘uns would get it some other way.  The trouble is that the fraternities foster an environment in which macho displays of personal endangerment and extraordinarily heavy drinking are idolized.  

      • Guest

         u should be ashamed of your self…he is a loved boy to many, how dare you say this!

      • guest

        “Either way, I’m sure no repercussion will be taken on either of these
        fraternities and they will go back to pumping copious amounts of
        alcohol into unsuspecting minors, until someone”…
        While I’m not a huge fan of fraternities myself, this is a pretty ridiculous statement. People under 21 go to fraternities willingly, with hopes of getting alcohol. There is no “pumping into unsuspecting minors” occuring. People who drink know what they are doing, and do so by choice.

      • Guest

        How do you bring the “1%” into this? You must be one of those useless vagrant hippies that wants to have everything handed to you in life rather than work for it. Good luck with your unhappy shit life you asshole, learn some respect. I hope a cop beats you into a coma.

  • guest

    whoever is in charge of the daily cal needs to take that comment down

  • Guest

    Almost a darwin award. Good thing it wasn’t, but now I’m wondering if that would be the first darwin award for Cal?

    • anon

       Go fuck yourself.

    • Anon

       I hope a rabid dog bites your dick off.