Indiana University Freshman Dies After Falling Down Stairs at Party

Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 07:15 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A 19-year-old Indiana University freshman has died after she fell and sustained a head injury at a party in the early morning hours Friday.

Rachael Fiege, from Zionsville, Ind., apparently fell down a flight of stairs at an off-campus party between 1 and 2 a.m. Friday, News Net 5 reported. But emergency personnel weren’t called until 7:30 a.m. when someone checked on Fiege and couldn’t wake her up.

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The Indiana Daily Student said Fiege planned to be a nurse. Her mother, Angi Fiege, is a doctor and the newspaper said she had just left work in pulmonary and critical care when she got the call that Fiege was injured.

Later in the day Friday, Fiege’s parents decided to remove her from life support after doctors said there was no brain activity, the student newspaper said.

The fall is under investigation. Indiana University police Chief Laury Flint confirmed alcohol was served at the party, although toxicology reports aren’t yet in to indicate whether Fiege was drinking.

Although it's unclear why no one took Fiege in for medical attention or called emergency services, Flint told the IDS, “The thought initially was probably that the injury was not as serious as it was.”

Flint said no criminal charges are expected at this time.

News Net 5 said many students remain unaware of a new lifeline law that protects students who are afraid of getting in trouble for underage drinking.

The news station quoted Stefanie Callimanis, who said students may be scared to call police.

“It’s hard because if we get in trouble like that, it could change the rest of our college experience, you’ll be under watch,” she told Channel 5.

The new law, reported the Herald Times, protects people who need to call for emergency help for a medical reason from getting in trouble over alcohol violations.

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