Student Dies While Exploring Rooftop

A UVA student’s accidental death appears to be linked to an urban spelunking group at the school, The Daily Progress reports. There’s a long-standing UVA tradition of exploring the steam tunnels below and the rooftops above, a tradition carried on by a group called The Bold and the Ruthless. (The organization has taken down their website, but a copy is still available at an alternate URL.) They specifically promote the roof of the physics building as a great place to climb up to (“[it] has an amazing view, including a nice direct line-of-sight up to Monticello…”). It was from the roof of the physics building where local first-year student Tom Gilliam IV slipped down the shingled roof early Monday morning and fell forty feet to the ground. There is no reason to believe that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and no reason to suspect that he was committing suicide—hence the strong suspicion that he was just up there for the view. UVA police are investigating his death.

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