UW fraternity member badly hurt in apparent fall from window

by: Maria Guerrero Updated:

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SEATTLE —

A University of Washington student was badly hurt after falling at least two stories from a fraternity house.

University of Washington Police Chief John Vinson told KIRO 7 the 19-year-old man who fell early Tuesday may have been drinking.

The man fell at the Chi Psi fraternity house along 22nd Avenue Northeast.

The fraternity member was in a room in either the second or third floor when he fell out, said Vinson.

His fraternity members told police the man had been drinking earlier in the night and that they had all been drinking, according to Vinson.

The University says the call for help came in just before 3:20 a.m. when the man's frat brothers came home and found him lying in the alley behind the house.

Medics transported him to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries including multiple fractures.

The Seattle Fire Department’s spokesman said fraternity members at Chi Psi figure their friend fell out of an open window.

Police said no one knows how long he had been out there.    

“There are no witnesses who actually witnessed the event, so when he's able to talk to us we'll talk to him to see if we can get a better picture of or a clear understanding of exactly what happened,” said Vinson.

However, Chi Psi's national chapter spokesperson said everything indicates this was an accidental fall and said alcohol was not a factor.

There was no social event happening Monday night at Chi Psi.

The national chapter is also investigating what led the fall.

“It has happened in the past at fraternities off campus,” said Vinson. “One of the things we, as a university, continue to try and do is work with our fraternities and sororities to include alcohol, positioning the beds safely and appropriately in the rooms so that we can reduce these types of things from occurring.”

In 2009, Seattle police said a man apparently had been drinking before also falling out of a third-floor window at Sigma Chi Fraternity.

In 2008, 21-year-old Kevin MacDonald died after falling from a window at Alpha Sigma Phi.

Frat brothers told police said he had been drinking but went to sleep hours before falling out of his bunk-bed.

Vinson said the investigation will be forwarded to the university’s conduct office if there were any violations to the code of conduct.

If the 19-year-old was in fact drinking, that would amount to a violation of the code of conduct, said Vinson.

Punishment could vary from a warning to dismissal from school , according to the website.

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