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HomeNewsDartmouth grad attending commencement dies after ‘freak accident’ on campus

Dartmouth grad attending commencement dies after ‘freak accident’ on campus


A recent Dartmouth College graduate has died after he was injured in a “freak accident” while visiting the New Hampshire campus for his postponed commencement ceremony, police and friends said.

David Gallagher, 24, was discovered badly hurt on a rocky embankment under the Ledyard Bridge on West Wheelock Street just before 2 a.m. Sunday, Hanover police said.

“It’s a very rocky, steep terrain,” said Hanover police Capt. James Martin. “It’s often inaccessible to walk in on foot from the roadway from Hanover.”

First responders had to use a pontoon boat to remove Gallagher from the rocky outcrop, before an ambulance transported him to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Hanover Police Department said no foul play was suspected in Gallagher’s death, but the agency has launched an investigation to determine what happened.

Hanover police Lt. Michael Schibuola told The Boston Globe that alcohol may have played a role in what he described as a “horrible accident,” but no criminal charges were expected.

Gallagher, a native of Pennsylvania, was in town with his family to attend on Saturday the Class of 2020 commencement, which had been postponed due to COVID.

Gallagher was discovered injured early Sunday under the Ledyard Bridge on the Dartmouth campus in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Gallagher was discovered injured early Sunday under the Ledyard Bridge on the Dartmouth campus in Hanover, New Hampshire.
WMUR
The recent grad was on a rocky embankment, and rescuers had to use a pontoon boat to bring him ashore.
The recent grad was on a rocky embankment, and rescuers had to use a pontoon boat to bring him ashore.
WMUR

Jack Richardson, a friend of Gallagher’s who was with him at the time of the incident, described it to Valley News as a “freak accident” but refused to provide any additional details, citing the police investigation.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Gallagher graduated from Dartmouth in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in government.

During his 4 years at the elite Ivy League college, Dartmouth was a star player on the men's lacrosse team, wearing jersey No. 15.
During his 4 years at the elite Ivy League college, Dartmouth was a star player on the men’s lacrosse team, wearing jersey No. 15.
WMUR

During his time at the elite Ivy League university, he was a star player on the men’s lacrosse team and was a member of several student organizations, including a real estate club, a leadership program and Theta Delta Chi Fraternity.

For the past two years, the 24-year-old worked as an analyst at a Los Angeles-based asset management company.

Dartmouth lacrosse coach Brendan Callahan said Gallagher had just received a “big promotion” at work.

Gallagher's team paid tribute to him, describing the alum as living his life "with a giant smile."
Gallagher’s team paid tribute to him, describing the alum as living his life “with a giant smile.”
Dartmouth Men’s Lacrosse

Dartmouth Men’s Lacrosse paid tribute to Gallagher on Twitter on Monday.

“He was tough, worked hard on the field and in the classroom, had high character and a positive attitude,” the team wrote. “Dave lived his life with a giant smile that lit up the room. His memory is in our hearts forever.”



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