MIT Student Dies After 5-Story Fall

MIT senior Robert M. Wells died after falling five stories from the bedroom window of his fraternity house early Saturday morning, according to a Boston Police Department (BPD) report.

At about 5:52 am, the Boston Emergency Medical Services found Wells’ deceased body lying on the ground at 526 Beacon Street, the MIT headquarters of the Technology chapter of Delta Upsilon (DU) fraternity.

“While everyone in the house was asleep, Senior Rob Wells fell from his bedroom window,” the president of DU, Michael R. Smith-Bronstein, wrote in a statement. “All indications show that this was an accident,”

A spokesman from the BPD said he could not comment on the nature of Wells’ death.

“The general sense is that no foul play was involved, but of course, we’re still waiting for the autopsy results to make the final assessment,” said Officer James Kenneally, a spokesman for BPD.

Wells, a 22-year-old from Ballston Spa, N.Y., was majoring in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, according to a statement released by MIT.

“This is a tragedy for his family, friends and the entire MIT community, and our hearts go out to all of them during this difficult time” said Pamela D. Serfes, a spokesperson for MIT.

Representatives of MIT’s Division of Student Life and Mental Health have met with the fraternity brothers and any other students who feel affected by the tragedy.

“MIT has been really good about offering a lot of support and helping arrange a memorial service for Rob at the MIT campus,” said Smith-Bronstein, an MIT junior.

Wells was a member of MIT’s football team when he was a sophomore, and a member of the water polo team when he was a freshman, according to MIT’s athletics web site.

He was very involved in his fraternity’s intramural sports, especially ice hockey, volleyball, and football, according to a DU statement.

“Rob was a genuine, caring person, who stood up for his friends and was quick to help others,” Smith-Bronstein wrote in the statement.

Wells’s death follows three other similar student deaths in recent memory, according to the Boston Globe.

This past November, a student at the Art Institute of Boston died after falling off the roof of a building in Allston; in January 2007, a Boston University student fell to his death from his fourth-floor window; and in September 2006, a Northeastern University student died after falling off the roof of his off-campus apartment building.

Last October, Steven R. Snyder ’04-’08 fell 9 stories from a window in Leverett House Tower F, and survived the fall.

­—Staff writer Alissa M. D’Gama can be reached at