CMU junior, club hockey defenseman Zachary Bunting dies Sunday after falling 4 stories in Grand Rapids



Central Michigan University student Zachary Bunting, 21, died Sunday morning after falling four stories inside an entertainment complex in Grand Rapids.

At approximately 2:10 a.m., Grand Rapids police responded to a call that a man had fallen at The Big Old Building, 20 Monroe Ave N.W., and found Bunting at the bottom of the stairwell, according to a GRPD news release. He was pronounced dead on scene.

Witnesses told detectives the Grand Ledge junior sat on the railing, intending to slide down it, and lost his balance, falling from the fourth level to the bottom of the open stairwell.

GRPD Lieutenant Dave Schnurstein said no foul play is suspected, and it is unknown whether alcohol was involved prior to Monday’s autopsy.

The B.O.B. is a downtown Grand Rapids entertainment complex that houses restaurants, lounges and a brewery.

Bunting was a defenseman on the CMU men’s club hockey team. His teammate and roommate at the hockey house on Deerfield Road, Ricky Jones, said Bunting was hanging out with friends at the B.O.B. after attending the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game earlier in the evening.

Jones said he will remember Bunting as one of the nicest people he has ever met.

“A lot of people say this about people who have passed, that they were such a good person, but it is completely an understatement to say he was a good person,” Jones said. “He would do anything for you. To have this happen to him … is mind-boggling.”

Bunting was studying political science at CMU, with aspirations to go to law school. He graduated from Grand Ledge High School in 2010.

CMU club hockey head coach Mike Willett said Bunting had an upbeat spirit and was well-liked on the team.

“He was a good person and a real good defenseman,” he said. “Talking to my assistant coach from last year, he said Zach was the most polite guy on the team and probably gave him the most respect, and that doesn’t surprise me; that’s Zach right there.”

Willett said Bunting was a candidate for vice president or president of the program within the next two years and was a man others would follow because of the way he carried himself.

Jones said he and his roommates met with Bunting’s family Sunday afternoon and talked about memories they shared with Bunting.

“We talked to them about little things, and they liked hearing from us,” Jones said. “The first thing his mom said was she was worried about us, which goes to show the character of his family and how he was raised.”

The family, as of Sunday, has not made funeral arrangements.


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