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University of Oklahoma reviews fire escapes following student's death

Casey Cooke, of Edmond, whose body was found on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman Sunday, died of blunt force trauma, authorities said Tuesday.
by Silas Allen Modified: June 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm •  Published: June 5, 2012

— University of Oklahoma officials are reviewing the university's fire escapes after a student fell to her death.

OU spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said Tuesday the university would be working with the Norman Fire Department to analyze external fire escapes on buildings across campus.

Casey Cooke, 22, of Edmond, was found unresponsive early Sunday near a fire escape east of Evans Hall. OU police responded to the call at 2:21 a.m. Sunday. Emergency medical personnel administered CPR but were unable to revive her.

Cooke's uncle, Don Cooke, said she and her Pi Beta Phi sorority sisters climbed onto the fire escape frequently. They used the spot as a quiet place for reflection, he said.

“She'd been up there many times before,” he said.

Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner, said Cooke died of blunt force trauma, presumably caused by the fall. Cooke's death was ruled accidental.

The fire escape on the eastern side of Evans Hall reaches up to a window on the building's third floor. A row of trees below the fire escape would have allowed Cooke to climb up to the lowest level of the fire escape.

A fire escape on the west side of the building climbs to the building's roof. A plaque on the wall below the ladder warns of a $750 fine for unauthorized use of the escape.

Sign/view the Guest Book for Casey Cooke Friends, classmates remember OU student found dead on...

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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