Teen killed in fall from apartment building identified
Death ruled accidental
MADISON, Wis. — The 18-year-old Madison man killed when he fell from a downtown apartment building Saturday has been identified as Jaden McRaven.
The Dane County Medical Examiner released a statement Tuesday stating McRaven died from injuries he sustained in the fall. The death has been ruled accidental.
McRaven’s obituary states that he was a senior at East High School and attending a MATC youth apprenticeship program.
Madison police said end-of-semester celebrations that started Friday night in a downtown apartment building ended with McRaven’s fall.
The Madison Police Department said officers and the fire department responded to a report of a person jumping or falling from an apartment balcony at the Equinox Apartments, 409 W. Gorham St., at about 12:17 a.m.
MPD spokesperson Howard Payne said at some point during the celebrations on the fifth and seventh floors of the Equinox, a verbal disturbance broke out.
The 18-year-old was asked to leave the event he was at, and when security was called he ran into an apartment of someone he didn’t know and went through a window, Payne said.
Police said responders found McRaven injured outside the apartment building. He was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Officials said investigators do not suspect any criminal act, but they were investigating whether the fall was accidental or intentional. It also wasn’t clear Saturday morning if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the death.
Jack Spaulding and his dad, Craig, set up a memorial for Jaden outside of the apartment building. The flowers, candles and photos were the center of a vigil in Jaden’s honor Sunday night. More than 70 people were in attendance.
The Spaulding’s said he had just celebrated his 18th birthday and was like another member of their family.
“He was kind of like another son to me and to a lot of parents,” Craig said.
Jack said Jaden was his best friend since sixth grade, and he still has a hard time putting his loss into words.
“He meant so much to so many people,” Jack said. “I didn’t want to believe it at first. I didn’t want to believe that my best friend for all of high school and all of middle school was dead.”
Jack said while Jaden was a bit of a daredevil, he was always out to make someone smile and wasn’t one to get into confrontations with others. A talented woodworker and avid long-boarder, Jack said Jaden lived every day how he wanted to.
“It’s sad that he died at 18 years old, but I know in that 18 years he did what he wanted to do to make him happy, and he didn’t care what anybody else thought,” Jack said.
A memorial fund has been set up for McRaven’s family. Donations can be sent to East High School at 2222 East Washington Avenue. Checks can be made out to East High School with Jaden McRaven Memorial Fund written in the memo section.