Date: August 19th, 2006 12:21 PM
Author: Bespoke ticket booth toaster
COURTESY PHOTO -- Student Affairs
Alex Reyno, Senior tour guide
Senior dies after Crim Dell jump
By Meghan Williams
Flat Hat News Editor
Senior Alex Reyno died Tuesday after jumping into the Crim Dell as he was leading a tour for the Office of Admissions. It was Reyno's last tour, and he apparently jumped into the water to celebrate the event.
"He'd told people that he was going to jump in the water, and he did," Vice President for Student Affairs Sam Sadler said. "It was his last tour, and he was going to do something different that would be memorable ... Regrettably, it took his life."
Reyno was with another tour guide, who jumped in with him. Although she was uninjured, Reyno suffered a fatal spinal cord injury when he entered the water, according to an e-mail sent by Sadler Tuesday evening to the campus community.
Sadler said it was his understanding that the two tour guides had climbed the fence in front of Crim Dell and had stepped out on a concrete culvert that juts out into the water. He said the two were facing their crowd of touring students and those with them and, holding hands, jumped backwards into the water.
No one is clear as to what happened after Alex went underwater, but he did not resurface with the other tour guide. According to a report from The Washington Post Wednesday, students who had seen what happened went into Crim Dell to try and find Reyno. Junior David Gettings found Reyno, and pulled him out of the water. CPR was administered quickly after he was pulled from the water.
The Williamsburg Fire Department responded to a call from people at the scene and Firefighter Paramedic Toni Colon and Firefighter EMT Howard Saunders were the medical staff available at the time. Their report said that CPR was already in progress when they arrived and that they transferred Reyno to Williamsburg Community Hospital, according to Fire Department Captain Chuck White.
In his e-mail, Sadler called the hospital staff's work "heroic," but despite this, Reyno was confirmed dead approximately 45 minutes after the incident at Crim Dell.
The reaction of the College community has been clearly seen, such as in the numerous flowers, photographs and other tributes students have left in front of Crim Dell, and also less visible in some ways. Sadler said that in the last few days he has received more student feedback in a short time for a single event than ever before.
"Alex was someone who was well-known on campus," Sadler said. "His life touched a lot of people."
Sadler added that this incident is not the first of its kind this year, as Reyno's is the fourth student death on campus. Those two things combined accounted for a large response from the student body, he said.
Senior Nina Strickland also worked as a tour guide and knew Reyno through his involvement in that position. According to Strickland, being chosen as a tour guide is a "huge privilege." She said there was almost a joke that despite the process all the tour guides go through to get their jobs, many guides still have days they try to avoid giving tours.
"Alex was the one who always volunteered," even if he had given another tour recently, Strickland said. "He was always right there 100 percent, he was always ready to go."
Strickland added that the reference to Reyno's jump as a tour guide tradition was a mistake, and that no final tour traditions exist for tour guides.
Senior Class President Summer Conage called Reyno "an integral part of the community," and said his place at the College was one factor that led her and senior Andy Lee to decide to focus the Senior Class Gift to be a memorial for Reyno. Conage and Lee are co-chairs for the Gift committee.
Conage said that the move was a completely student-led initiative, and that she believed there was a good deal of support behind it.
"I've fielded a lot of e-mails, phone calls ... from students who felt a tremendous loss," she said.
She added that today while the seniors participate in the College tradition of ringing the bells when they are finished with classes, there will be a special ringing of the bells for Reyno and a book-signing for students to write their thoughts. The book will be shared with Reyno's family at a later time.
A visitation is scheduled for today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DeMaine Funeral Home, 5308 Backlick Rd., Springfield, Va. A mass in Reyno's honor will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at St. Bernadette's Catholic Church, 7600 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, Va.
A memorial service closer to campus is scheduled for April 30 at 5 p.m. at St. Bede's Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Rd., Williamsburg, Va.