19-Year-Old Lafayette College Lacrosse Recruit Died After Suffering Head Injury - NBC New York

19-Year-Old Lafayette College Lacrosse Recruit Died After Suffering Head Injury

While officials have not determined an exact cause of death, the head of school for the teen's high school announced he died from a head injury.



    An autopsy will be performed Wednesday for 19-year-old McCrae Williams who died following a fall at Lafayette College. NBC10's Matt DeLucia has the latest of the student's death and his campus' response.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017)

    Friends and family are mourning a Lafayette College lacrosse recruit and freshman from Massachusetts who died after suffering a head injury.

    Authorities in Easton, Pennsylvania say 19-year-old McCrae Williams, of Weston, Massachusetts, died with his parents at his side at Lehigh Valley hospital around 5 p.m. Monday.

    Lafayette public safety officers responded to a medical emergency outside Ruef Hall North around 4:20 p.m. Sunday, Easton police said. "Investigators believe the chain of events leading to the medical emergency call started on Saturday in the late afternoon into the evening hours," police said in a news release.

    While officials have not determined an exact cause of death, Dr. Catherine Hall, the Head of School of Noble and Greenough School, where Williams played lacrosse in high school, announced that he died after falling and suffering a head injury.

    "McCrae fell over the weekend and suffered a major head injury," she wrote in a letter sent to parents. "Our hearts ache for McCrae's parents, Dianne and Chris, and his brother, Chase, as they face this unfathomable loss."

    Hall did not reveal how Williams fell.

    Williams' body showed no visible signs of injury, no signs of suicide and he had no known health problems, Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim told NBC10. Grim's office — investigating since Williams died in Lehigh County — planned a Wednesday morning autopsy.

    Easton Police, Lafayette College Public Safety, the Northampton County District Attorney's Office and the Lehigh County Coroner's Office investigated the death, police said.

    Investigators said they believe there is no threat to the public and that they were still determining if alcohol played any role in his death.

    The Morning Call reports Williams planned to start playing lacrosse at Lafayette College this year. The school listed him as a recruit. He was set to graduate in 2021.

    McCrae Williams
    Photo credit: Family Photo

    His father Chris Williams told NBC Boston his son planned to be an investment banker or doctor since he liked to help people. His family donated his organs to five people.

    "We extend our deepest sympathies to McCrae’s family and friends," Lafayette President Alison Byerly said in a letter sent to the college community. "We will share information about memorial plans when it becomes available."

    A vigil for Williams was held Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on the campus Quad.

    "No one is dealing with this alone right now," said Mark Eyerly, vice president of communications at Lafayette. "You saw evidence of that tonight."

    During the vigil, members of the lacrosse team led the walk into the center of the campus in College Hill. They stood silently, then walked into the student center to meet with counselors.

    "A college campus this time of year is just full of optimism, energy, enthusiasm," Eyerly said. "I would say all of that has been tempered, dampened."

    The university is also offering counselors at the Counseling Center and at its 24/7 after-hours crisis support at 610-330-5005.

    The Noble and Greenough School Athletic program retweeted a photo of Williams with his high school teammates. Dr. Hall remembered him as a "talented student."

    "The Noble and Greenough community is deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved student, McCrae Williams," Hall said. "A 2017 graduate from Nobles, McCrae was a talented student, tremendous athlete and a wonderful member of our school community. Our hearts ache for McCrae’s family as they face this unfathomable loss."