U of I student from Franklin Park dies at ‘Unofficial’ party

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Jonathan Morales died Friday in a fall from a balcony in Champaign, police said. | Photo via GoFundMe

A student at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus from northwest suburban Franklin Park died Friday night after falling from a balcony during the university’s “Unofficial” St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Jonathan Morales, 23, fell from a balcony at 51 E. John St. about 10:30 p.m. Friday. He was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana 11:50 p.m., according to a statement from Champaign police. He was a communications student.

A university official confirmed to the Champaign News-Gazette that Morales’ death was related to “Unofficial,” an annual weekend of binge-drinking — not sponsored by the university — that attracts thousands to the downstate campus in March every year.

Jonathan Morales, 23, a student at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus from northwest suburban Franklin Park, died Friday night after falling from a balcony in this apartment building, according to published reports. | Google Streetview im

Jonathan Morales, 23, a student at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus from northwest suburban Franklin Park, died Friday night after falling from a balcony in this apartment building, according to published reports. | Google Streetview image

Champaign police said Morales was unresponsive when emergency crews arrived.

Police said “limited information” was available Saturday morning, though “preliminary investigations suggest that Morales’ fall was accidental.”

His autopsy is scheduled to be conducted Saturday.

Racheal Romo, who said she was Morales’ aunt, set up a GoFundMe page Saturday to help cover the cost of Morales’ funeral services.

Romo wrote that Morales was “a wonderful, happy spirited young man who loved dancing and music” who was “a friend to many.”

“You clearly left many of us with loving memories that we will forever cherish,” she wrote.

As news of his death spread, dozens took to Facebook to express condolences to his family and share memories of Morales.

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