Student Reaction to U of I Hypothermia Death: 'We're Not as Invincible As We Think'


They're rivals on the basketball court and football field. But when tragedy strikes one of the campuses, the other usually reaches out in sympathy.

This morning's Daily Evergreen reports that members of the Washington State University community are writing letters and expressing sorrow and sympathy in the wake of the discovery of an 18 year-old University of Idaho student's body under a Moscow bridge, five miles from his U of I dormitory. It's believed that the freshman died of hypothermia.

“It’s something you never want to hear about happening,” Jeff Carmody, WSU Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity president, told the Evergreen.

Joseph Widerrick was at a party at the U of I's Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat house prior to his death. According to law enforcement, Widerrick left the frat house early Monday morning, wandered to a house on Highland Drive, where a resident asked him to leave at 3 a.m., and walked to another house, where he was turned away.

Carmody said to his knowledge, the U of I Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was a "dry establishment," where drugs or alcohol are prohibited.

"It just reminds us that we’re not as invincible as we think we are as students, and it’s really important that we don’t go through college in isolation,” WSU student Kyle Erdman told the Evergreen.