20-year-old Princeton student’s cause of death could take weeks to determine, official says
The body of a man who died during a snowboarding accident in Princeton on New Year’s Day, officials said on Thursday, is expected to take weeks to identify.
The man, identified by family members as 22-year-old Michael S. Schauffler, was one of 20 people who died on a snowboard ramp at an off-campus residence on Princeton’s West Side on Jan. 1.
“The death of one person is tragic, but all are equally important,” Princeton Police Chief Charles Kelly said. “Each family has lost a member; the community is mourning.”
The accident was among 30 that were recorded on camera by The Princetonian, a student-run newspaper that has been at the forefront of reporting about campus safety issues. Police said the camera footage had been checked and did not show any signs of criminal behavior on the property.
Kelly said the investigation would examine whether or not students went out of their way to intentionally cause the crash, and if the incident played a role in the man’s death.
An autopsy is also planned to determine the cause of his death.
In a statement released Thursday, the family’s attorney, Tom Sosnowski, said Schauffler died on the morning of Jan. 1 after being involved in a crash while snowboarding.
“His family is coping with this devastating loss but they are strong and determined and Michael’s life will be remembered with great dignity and respect,” Sosnowski said.
His family, which has asked for privacy, has said they’re not sure what caused Schauffler to fall. Officials said police were looking into the possibility that the snowboarders were careless and had caused a dangerous situation.
One statement from the family said the 22-year-old was “a brilliant student and a great person.”
Princeton Police Officer Matthew Delaney said on Thursday that Schauffler died at around 3 p.m.
“The information we have at this point indicates he died around this time after he was involved in a crash,” Delaney said.
The accident unfolded while Schauffler