The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Student from area dies in fall at college
A Penn State University high-jumper from Stafford County died over the weekend after falling from a ninth-floor balcony.
His accidental death may be linked to a hallucinogenic drug sold as “acid,” authorities said Monday.
Conor F. MacMannis, 20, died as a result of head trauma after the fall from an apartment in downtown State College, police told The Associated Press. The coroner has ruled it an accident, and a toxicology report is in the works.
MacMannis, a kinesiology major, was a member of the track and field team at one of Penn State’s satellite campuses, and previously at Chancellor High School in Spotsylvania County.
He was one of three sons of Kathryn and Andrew MacMannis of Stafford County.
His younger brother, Aiden Hall, passed away in March at the age of 15.
Conor is survived by his parents and brother Jack MacMannis, along with other relatives.
The military family was recently stationed in Japan, according to online accounts, where Andrew MacMannis was the commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit for two years.
Conor MacMannis was a letter winner in track and field at Kubeszki High School there, according to his Penn State athletic bio.
MacMannis was on the track and field team from 2011 to 2013 at Penn State’s Behrend campus, near Erie, Pa. At the Eastern College Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in May, he earned All-Conference honors and earned eighth place in the high jump.
He competed on Chancellor High School’s track and field team as well in 2009 and 2010, according to Free Lance–Star archives.
The fall occurred at 3:45 a.m. at the Penn Towers building on Beaver Avenue in State College.
Police pointed to “acid” as a factor in the fall, during an initial investigation. State College police say the exact compound of the narcotic has not been determined, The Associated Press reports.
Police are now warning students about synthetic drugs being called LSD or “acid” that are sold as small tabs of paper. They say the narcotics have resulted in several suspected overdoses.
MacMannis had pledged the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity this fall.
“It is times like this that the Penn State fraternity and sorority community need to come together and support the MacMannis family to the best of our abilities,” the Penn State Interfraternity Council said in a statement.
Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975