'Crushed' parents of Fordham University student who fell from clock tower spent final moments with her before she died
22-year-old Sydney Monfries fell between a gap in the stairs inside the clock tower on Sunday. She along with her friends had gone to the prohibited place as a "rite of passage" as seniors
The "crushed" parents of the student from Fordham University who fell to her death inside a clock tower on April 14 rushed to be by their child's side before she was officially pronounced dead, reports said.
Twenty two-year-old Sydney Monfries fell between the gap in the stairs inside the clock tower early on Sunday. She fell 40ft and sustained fatal injuries to her head.
According to reports, the student of journalism and her friends managed to get into the off-limits structure because they believed it was a "rite of passage" as seniors.
Fellow students said that they wanted to get pictures for their Instagram pages. Sydney had uploaded a video to Snapchat from the inside just moments before she died. She captioned it "bell tower".
After she plunged to the bottom, she was rushed to the Saint Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
According to a family friend, her parents Wayne and Susan Monfries went to the hospital immediately and were with their daughter in her final moments. It is still unclear if Sydney's parents, who live in Portland, Oregon, flew from their home or were already on the east coast at the time of the accident.
Long-term family friend David Barfield, who is currently on campus with the family to help them cope with the loss, said that they were "devastated" by Sydney's tragic death. He told ABC News: "They are heartbroken. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to witness. Right now they're just trying to process this tremendous loss. Fortunately, they were able to spend her last moments with her."
The student's friends meanwhile are still reeling from her death. Barfield said: "They refuted the notion that she died trying to take pictures and called her death a 'freak accident'." Sydney was supposed to graduate in May and the university has now said that it will award her a degree posthumously.
The student and her friends had a late-night dinner at a local barbecue restaurant before she went to the clock tower.
A waiter at the restaurant told The New York Post on April 15 that he heard the students talking about going to the clock tower. He said: "They were like, 'We’re seniors, let’s go!'. She was with a group of friends. My roommate was with them. He told me some seniors [wanted to go] to the tower to take some pictures and have a good time before graduating."
Another student told the publication after the tragedy occurred: "I heard they were just getting a better view of the city. I think they were posting on Instagram."
The university also said in a statement that it mourned Sydney's death and will be offering counseling services to other students who need it.