Skip to main content

WVU Police confirm student death

blue letters on gold background

Download full-size

West Virginia University Police have confirmed Benjamin Pravecek, a 20-year-old business major from Harpers Ferry, died Friday afternoon (April 16). 

Officers are continuing their investigation, but early indications suggest no foul play was involved. 

“We are grieving today,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said. “This tragedy reminds us how important the love, care and compassion we share with others can be. We have been in touch with Benjamin’s family and friends to offer our support during this difficult time, and we will continue to provide whatever resources and help are necessary.” 

“I want our students to know that we are here for you,” T. Anne Hawkins, director of the Carruth Center, said. “If you need to talk, if you just want someone to be with you or if you know someone who may need support, please know that you are not alone.” 

The Center offers individual counseling and 24/7 support at 304-293-4431, as well as a Crisis Text Line that is available 24 hours, seven days a week. Text WVU to 741741 to reach a live, trained crisis counselor. 

The CARE Team is also available to respond to referrals offering support and assistance. 

Faculty and staff may seek support through the Employee Assistance Program. Additional self-help resources can be found at and   

UPD responded to University Place just after 12:30 p.m. Friday after reports that a person either fell or jumped from the parking garage and landed on the sidewalk below. A Community Notice was issued.

Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation is asked to contact University Police at 304-293-3136.

Visit for additional resources and information. Learn more about WVU’s emergency Alert messaging system.

In addition to the WVU Alert system, emergency messages are posted to the @WVUalert Twitter and WVU Safety and Wellness Facebook page. Students and employees are encouraged to follow these social media accounts, as well as the @WVUsafety Twitter, to get updates about incidents.

WVU students and employees are also encouraged to download the LiveSafe app. 



CONTACT: April Kaull, Executive Director of Communications
University Relations

Call 1-855-WVU-NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday. 

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.