Rachael Fiege, 19-year-old Indiana University freshman, dies after injury at party

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - An Indiana University freshman died Saturday morning after being critically injured at a party Friday.

Vice President of University Relations Mark Land said that Rachael Fiege, a 19-year-old from Zionsville, was taken off life support Saturday morning.

Police are investigating the incident, which happened near the football stadium.

Police said Fiege fell down a flight of stairs between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., but officers didn’t receive a call until nearly 8 a.m.

"She was monitored by persons in the house on and off. At approximately 7:30 this morning, she was found to be unresponsive and they contacted our department," Chief Laury Flint said Friday evening.

Neighbors couldn’t believe that no one called for help for several hours after the girl fell.

When police arrived, they found Fiege unconscious and not breathing. Police administered first aid and medics took Fiege to the hospital in critical condition. She was pronounced dead early Saturday morning after being taken off life support.

Fiege had moved into a residence hall on campus earlier in the week, according to school officials. They said she planned to study pre-nursing.

Fiege was a graduate of Zionsville Community High School, where she played soccer and was a member of the Key Club, Spanish Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was also a member of the ZCHS PEER mentoring program. 

"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Eagle family are with the Fieges during this difficult time," school officials wrote in a press release Monday. "Rachael was a  friend to everyone and her life deeply touched all who knew her."

Sarvesh Somisetty, a junior, said that people who throw parties need to take responsibility.

"Just be careful, especially when you're having parties like this and you know people who weren't necessarily invited come by, If you're the host of the party, make sure you're walking around making sure everyone is at least OK," Somisetty said.

Many students are not aware of Indiana’s new lifeline law that provides protection for students who are afraid of underage drinking citations.

Stefanie Callimanis, also a junior, explained why some students are afraid to call police.

"We're just young, we're scared. 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,” Callimanis said. "I think it would great if the police honestly would come educate us on it, let us know, have information sessions and say really this law is put in place for this exact reason to save lives."

A visitation for Fiege will be held at the Zionsville Presbyterian Church,  4775 W. 116th St, Zionsville, from 4-8 p.m. on Friday. 

Services will be held Saturday at noon at the church, with calling from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

Contributions in memory of Fiege may be made to the Humane Society of Boone County, Indiana Soccer Foudnation and I.U. Health Methodist Foundation.

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