A sad story, especially given the time of year.

Tracy Connor of NBC News reports.

New York college freshman dies in fraternity pledge ‘ritual’: prosecutors

A New York City college freshman was fatally injured during a fraternity hazing ritual that required blindfolded pledges wearing weighted bags to navigate a path while being repeatedly knocked to the ground, authorities said Wednesday.

Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng, a 19-year-old student at Baruch College suffered “major brain trauma” while he was at a rented home in Tunkhannock Township in Pennsylvania’s Poconos with 20 other members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity over the weekend, the Monroe County district attorney’s office said.

Deng was injured in the yard “while partaking in a ritual,” the DA said.

Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis told NBC News the pledges were told they had to get from one point to another with their eyes covered while carrying a load while others pushed and shoved them.

“It’s very tragic,” Lewis said.

The activity sounds eerily similar to hazing rituals, commonly known as “the gauntlet,” that have been implicated in other deaths of college students in recent years, including one at Florida A&M University in 2011, and one at North Carolina’s Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2008.

After Deng was knocked unconscious, his frat brothers brought him inside. Although he was unresponsive, there was “a considerable delay” before they drove him to the emergency room, Lewis said.

“Shortly after beginning treatment, physicians determined Deng suffered major brain trauma and he was placed on life support,” the DA’s office said in a press release.

Deng, who graduated from the elite Bronx High School of Science, died Monday morning.