Grieving parents urge teens: Make the call for help
Wednesday, September 04, 2013 11:00 AM
What a heartbreaking story about Rachael Fiege, an incoming freshman at Indiana University who died after a fall down a set of steps in the days leading up to the first day of school.
Her mother and father, in an interview with Indianapolis Star reporter Stephanie Wang, weren't speaking to spread the blame for their daughter's death. Instead, they were mourning their 19-year-old and not dissecting the actions of those who were at the late-night, off-campus party.
"I think you should know that really, really, really good kids sometimes make choices that are not the right choices," Angi Fiege told The Star. "I'm heartbroken that anybody would judge anybody at that house. They made a mistake. They were young. They didn't understand. ... But hopefully other people can learn vicariously through this. Know when to call for help."
At issue was whether students at the party neglected to call for medical attention because they were concerned about getting busted for underage drinking. Why it took six hours after Fiege fell, suffering a head injury, isn't clear.
But in the words of her mother is a plea for minors in similar situations to make that call - regardless of whether alcohol is a factor.
Indiana's Lifeline Law, approved in 2012, stops authorities from prosecuting minors who have been drinking alcohol if they request medical help for a person who has alcohol-related injuries or complications and they cooperate with law enforcement.
That's a reminder for students as they navigate a new semester and the parties that are bound to happen.
As Rachael Fiege's mother said: "Know when to call for help."