Penn State cheerleader remains critical after 5-story fall out of apartment window

mcarroll@centredaily.comOctober 15, 2012 

A 19-year-old Penn State cheerleader remained in critical condition with a brain injury after falling 39 feet out of a downtown apartment building overnight Saturday.

University officials confirmed Monday that it was Penn State student and varsity cheerleader Paige Raque who fell out of a fifth-floor window in Calder Commons.

State College police have said the fall appears to have been accidental. Though they do not suspect criminal activity, an investigation will continue.

Randy Jepson, Penn State’s gymnastics coach and Raque family spokesman, said Raque suffered a traumatic brain injury and is fighting with her family at her side.

“She continues to get treatment for a head injury. It’s very much a day-to-day thing,” he said. “The family is very close-knit. They are depending on their faith and trusting to see God’s work.

“She is a wonderful girl, just full of life and just a wonderful heart. We’re just hoping that she responds and gets better.”

In the hours after the accident, friends and family of the young woman took to social media to post their thoughts and prayers.

By Monday, Penn State students, including football players and cheerleaders, were flooding Twitter with well wishes under the hashtag #prayforpaige.

Her brother, Parker Raque, a Penn State gymnastics team captain and student, updated his Twitter followers throughout the day, saying Paige was “surrounded by great people here at the ICU.”

“Headed home for a good night’s sleep,” he posted Monday night. “I have wonderful company. Will be back at the ICU in the morning to support Paige.”

“Keep the prayers coming,” he said in another post. “God is our rock and fortress.”

Raque is a 2011 graduate of Christian Academy of Louisville in Kentucky.

She was taken to Altoona Regional Heath System with multiple injuries after the fall.

A nursing supervisor at the hospital said Sunday night that she was in critical condition. But hospital officials said they had no information about Raque on Monday.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said in an email Monday that her “coach, as well as the athletic director and student affairs have all been in contact with the family.”

Police did not release any additional information about the accident Monday.

 

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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