The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 16, 2012

PSU cheerleader who fell 39 feet improves slightly

STATE COLLEGE — A Penn State cheerleader who fell five stories from a window at an off-campus apartment building opened her eyes Tuesday but remains in critical condition, a family spokesman said.

Randy Jepson, the Penn State men's gymnastics coach, said Tuesday that Paige Raque showed "some positive signs" after some making small movements and opening her eyes.

"It's a good sign, but it's going to be a slow process," Jepson said in a phone interview. Raque, 19, of Louisville, Ky., was in the intensive care unit, he said.

Raque's brother, Parker, is the men's gymnastics team captain. "Much more positivity with our family after seeing a little progress today," he wrote Tuesday on his Twitter account.

Police said Tuesday an investigation was continuing, though the fall appears to have been accidental.

Authorities have said the cheerleader fell 39 feet through a screened window during a party Saturday night on the fifth floor of the downtown apartment building. A university directory listed Raque's address on the same floor.

She was flown to Altoona Regional Health System with head and pelvic injuries.

Raque and her family were flooded with messages of support on social media. Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien extended his well-wishes when asked about the fall at his weekly press conference Tuesday.

"My heart goes out to Paige and her family, and I feel terrible about that," O'Brien said. "I know her brother is a great gymnast here, and it's a terrible thing."

Jepson said the family appreciated the kind thoughts from across the Penn State campus. "The biggest thing the family is requesting is prayer and support," he said.

 

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