A construction worker who fell this past Tuesday from the roof of Teagle Hall while doing repair work is in more serious condition than initial reports suggested.
James I. DeTurck, a 22-year-old employee of Charles F. Evans Co. suffered damaged ribs, a tear in his heart, a crushed pelvic bone and a split in his wrist and upper femur, as a result of the 27-foot fall, according to a spokesperson for Gary Stout, president of Charles F. Evans Co.
However, initial reports had stated that DeTurck had only suffered broken appendages. “The men on site don’t know anything other than the fact that bones were sticking out of his skin,” said the spokesperson.
Doctors now doubt whether DeTurck will ever be able to use his wrist again, added the spokesperson.
After the two-story fall, the worker was airlifted via a Guthrie One helicopter and transported to Robert Packer Medical Center in Sayre, Pa. The doctors immediately had to perform a heart surgery to mend the tear, and DeTurck survived the night, according to the spokesperson.
Doctors had to hold off further surgery due to his serious condition, but as of yesterday afternoon, DeTurck had improved appreciably, added the spokesperson.
As to what caused the fall, “we have determined that there was no crime,” said Captain Randall Hausner of the Cornell University Police Department. Their investigation has concluded, he added.
DeTurck, known as “Chevy” to his friends, has been employed with Charles F. Evans Co., a union contractor, for three years. “He has been here for three years already as an apprentice, and he’s like family to us,” the spokesperson said.
Because of the contractor’s union status, the labor organization’s health care plans are providing all the support necessary for his medical costs.
At this point, Evans Company officials were not sure which family members have visited him (he has no wife or children), but stated that “he has had many visitors, including members of his direct family and his minister.”
“A lot of the members here at Evans have been fervently praying, and we attribute his ability to get this far to prayer,” the spokesperson stated.
Officials at Robert Packard medical center would not provide any additional details about DeTurck’s condition late last night.
Archived article by Rachel Pessah