The coroner says Tucker Hipps died from an head injury that is consistent with an unsupported fall. The report says the injury is also consistent with him falling from one of the spans which is about 20 – 23 feet above the water surface.
The Oconee Co. Sheriff’s Department says Clemson University Police discovered the body of Tucker W. Hipps, 19, of Piedmont below the Highway 93 bridge at YMCA Beach in Lake Hartwell in 4 – 5 feet of water around 3:30 p.m.
Monday afternoon. Hipps was a sophomore political science major at Clemson University and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon according to the school.
He graduated from Wren High School in Piedmont in 2013, where he was a football player and was active in Boys State.
Hipps and his family have attended Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley for 12 years, where his pastor said he was very involved in the church’s youth group.
Fellow Clemson student and Wren High School student Cam Gilreath said he’s been friends with Hipps for a decade. Gilreath said Hipps’ fraternity brother called him yesterday afternoon to see if he knew where Hipps was.
Since then, Gilreath said he and his friends have been turning to each other for support.
“It gets a little emotional. It’s tough. But God’s with us. We have really close friends here. That’s what’s great about here at Clemson. We have some close friends that can help us if we really need somebody,” said Gilreath.
Gilreath said Hipps was very involved in his fraternity and never mentioned hazing to him.
He tells me he hopes anyone who knows what happened to his friend will come forward.
Clemson says Hipps was participating in an early-morning group activity run with fraternity members.
He didn’t return from the run and wasn’t at breakfast, so they began looking for him.
Members of the fraternity contacted the Clemson University Police Department to report him missing at 1:45 p.m. Monday.
The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity says they are investigating allegations of hazing on social media.