Death of Destrehan student deemed accident

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005

Annapolis midshipman apparently fell from roof of dorm


Staff Reporter

DESTREHAN — The death of a Destrehan man attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, has been classified as an accident, according to information provided by the academy.

Midshipman Second Class Jay Michael Dixon was 21, when he was found dead on April 9, outside of his dormitory, Bancroft Hall.

After two months of investigations by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Academy has concluded his death, though no witnesses were present at the time, was due to an accidental fall.

According to a report provided by a Naval Academy spokesperson, several midshipmen saw Dixon drinking alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated before returning to his room, which was located on the top floor of the dormitory.

“He is believed to have used a chair to open his window and crawl outside and onto a fifth-floor ledge in order to smoke,” the spokesperson said, “While out on this ledge, Dixon likely lost his balance and fell to his death.”

The report also said Dixon’s friends indicated Dixon had climbed out on the ledge in the past to smoke, though academy regulations forbid midshipmen climbing on the roofs or ledges of buildings.

Another midshipman, in an area obscured from normal view, discovered his body in the bottom of a mechanical pit at around noon that same day.

The academy spokesperson said the academy is taking steps to prevent a similar incident in the future.

They will be installing safety devices on the windows as to prevent them from being opened more than 10 inches.

“Additionally, the academy will continue our concerted effort to educate midshipmen on the responsible use of alcohol, and better monitor midshipmen who appear intoxicated,” the report stated.

Dixon was the son of Debra Dixon, and the late J. Michael Dixon, of Destrehan. A brother, Greg, also survives him.

He was a 2002 graduate of Brother Martin High School, and was studying physics at the Academy.