October 5, 2000

Victim of Teagle Fall in Recovery

Print More

Since his Sept. 19 fall from the roof of Teagle Hall James I. DeTurck, a 22-year-old apprentice with Charles F. Evans Construction Co., his condition has improved from serious to stable.

DeTurck initially suffered a tear in his heart, a crushed pelvic bone and a split in his wrist as a result of the 27-foot fall, according to a spokesperson for the Evans Co.

According to Gary Stout, the president of the Evans Co., DeTurck’s condition has improved significantly over the past 16 days.

“He’s a lot better today than he was a week ago, I can tell you that,” Stout said.

Doctors transferred DeTurck from Robert Packer Medical Center in Sayre, Pa., to SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse.

“He’s in his own room now, out of ICU [the intensive care unit],” Stout said.

DeTurck is scheduled to have pelvic surgery within the next few days, Stout said.

Stout explained that what he knew about his employee’s condition came from “what [DeTurck’s] parents have been telling me.”

“The heart surgery was a success, and they redid his wrist,” Stout said.

At first, doctors had doubted whether DeTurck would ever be able to use his wrist again. Stout understood that after the wrist surgery, “it looks very promising that he’ll have full use of that [his wrist].”

The Cornell University Police Department concluded their investigation into the cause of the fall, determining “that there was no crime,” said Captain Randall Hausner ’85.

Because DeTurck belongs to a union, the labor organization’s health care plan will pay his medical costs.

“He definitely still works for us,” Stout said. “We have some people that are going up this weekend to visit, some of his buddies,” he added.

DeTurck lives in Elmira and has worked as an apprentice for the construction company for two and a half years.

Neither DeTurck nor his parents, who are staying near their son in Syracuse, could be reached for comment.

Archived article by Maggie Frank