A bright young 20-year-old student from Clemson University fell to his death on a Carnival Cruise ship. Kendall Wernet died around 8:30 am ET Monday, according to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office as reported by USA Today.
Fox Carolina reports that Wernert was on a three day cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy as part of an award with the Student Painters organization, which is a branch of the Young Entrepreneurs Across America. Steve Acorn revealed that Wernert had won his spot on the cruise due to being a top performer with the organization.
There was no foul play or drinking involved. Wernert and a few buddies had simply wanted to climb to a spot to watch the Miami sunrise as the ship came in to dock. Although the spot was restricted, Wernert and the other students had seen other people sitting in that same location the day before and decided they wanted to do the same.
Acorn had nothing but wonderful things to say about Kendall Wernert, telling USA Today that he was part of an elite group of college students that worked 80 hours a week during the summer. Wernert was a hard worker from the very beginning in the summer of 2013 when he started as branch manager with the company.
This summer, Acorn promoted him to district manager in which he was teaching seven to nine new students how to run a Student Painters franchise. Acorn continued to brag on Wernert.
“He was a huge part of our success. Kendall was one of those kids that if you had a daughter you’d want her to find Kendall.”
Fox Carolina reports Acorn stating that around 5:30 am, the students had been sitting in that spot “discussing their future goals and plans, talking about management and leadership, when a mechanism on the ship appeared to turn on, and what could have been part of a radar, swung around and hit Wernet. It knocked Wernet down to an ship-deck track, about a twenty feet drop.”
Carnival medical staff worked on Wernert while he laid unconscious until the ship was docked and he could be transferred to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to blunt-trauma head injury.
A junior majoring in business management with a minor in accounting, Wernert, along with two friends, started a company at Clemson four months ago called The Driven Vision. It was designed to help young professionals.
Nicholas Dalpiaz, a brother of one of Wernert’s partners in The Driven Vision said that “Kendall had a way with people and customers that was God given and not learned,” as reported by USA Today.
“He was such a nice guy. And I wish I had a better word than nice, but Kendall carried a smile every time I saw him.”
What a wonderful way to be remembered.
On The Driven Vision Website, Wernert wrote a thought provoking blog regarding the recent death of Robin Williams. It seems almost ironic and poetic now.
“This got me thinking: How will the world react when I die? Will my face be on the news? Will people say it was a terrible occurrence? What will they remember about me? Ask yourself these same questions. Suddenly, you start to get this weird feeling inside of you that makes you question what you are doing with your life. Because, the truth is that we all want to make a difference and leave a mark on this world. We want to be remembered.”
I think it is safe to say that Kendall Wernert will be remembered and he has left his mark on the world through the people he worked with, went to school with and those he loved and who loved him.
Rest In Peace, Kendall Wernert.
[Photo Credit: USA Today]