New York Student Dies in Italy Church Fall

By John Noel
|  Monday, Nov 16, 2009  |  Updated 1:45 PM EDT
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New York Student Dies in Italy Church Fall

AP

A general view of the St.Peter's Square at the Vatican

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A student at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, reportedly fell to his death while sightseeing in Rome, Italy.

Marist College spokesman Tim Massie said on Sunday that he didn't have details on what led to Robert Stone's fatal plunge. He says the 19-year-old was attending the Goshen school's branch at the Scuola Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence.

The accident happened Friday evening, Rome time, as the 19-year-old from Wappingers Falls, New York was visiting the Basilica Santa Maria Aracoeli.

The church was built hundreds of years ago and is known for its frescoes. Visitors can take a flight of steep stairs to enter the church.

Massie called Stone "a very compassionate, loving person." and  described him as a hard-working, dedicated student who was also socially conscious with interests in human rights, African politics and issues pertaining to the world's children.

Stone, a junior, majoring in Political Science, had been studying in Italy since September.  In the Summer of 2008 he studied at the school's branch in South Africa.

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