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Police investigate UI student’s fall

Charges could be filed against alcohol suppliers

Joel Mills Lewiston Morning Tribune

MOSCOW – Moscow police are retracing the steps of a University of Idaho sophomore seriously injured in a fall from a fraternity window Thursday after she had allegedly been drinking, and criminal charges could be forthcoming.

Assistant Chief David Duke said detectives are interviewing the people with whom Amanda Andaverde, 19, associated on Wednesday night to re-create the timeline that led to her falling out of a third-floor window at Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Duke said police know Andaverde consumed alcohol that night, and have obtained the medical releases from her family that show how much was in her system. He declined to release the amount.

Andaverde was unconscious when police and medics arrived on the scene, Duke said, so investigators will have to rely on witness statements to know how impaired she was.

“Those interviews will give us an indication of how she was acting prior to the incident,” he said, adding that those who gave or sold her alcohol will face criminal charges if they are identified and enough evidence to prosecute is collected.

As a legal matter, Andaverde herself would likely be guilty of minor consumption, he said. But charging her “would be mostly insensitive on our part.”

Charges won’t be filed against another UI sophomore, Shane Meyer, who police believe was drinking when he fell from a Delta Tau Delta window on Aug. 29. Both Meyer, 20, and Andaverde are recovering from serious injuries at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“We’re not going to go to Seattle just to serve a citation,” Duke said.

Based on interviews, police believe Andaverde went to the SAE’s third-floor sleeping porch with another person and got into the middle bunk of a triple-decker bed partly against a wall and partly against a window.

Andaverde slipped off the bed and out through the window screen to the ground 27 feet below, he said.

She suffered multiple fractures to her extremities, as well as injuries to her head, neck and torso, he said. A nurse at the Harborview intensive care unit said Andaverde remained in serious condition Friday afternoon.

Duke said there were several frat parties on campus Wednesday, the usual night for Greek social events.

But he said it is difficult for police to intervene at such parties because they are in private residences. “We just can’t send undercover people into private houses or private parties.”

According to a Web journal hosted by Harborview and maintained by Meyer’s family, Meyer underwent a tracheotomy Thursday and is breathing on his own for the first time since his fall. He is also able to mouth full sentences to his parents and move his arms and fingers, but is suffering from pneumonia and just got over a bout with swine flu, according to the journal.

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