A 19-year-old Georgia Southern University student is recovering from severe back injuries after reportedly falling from a second-story window at a Greek Row fraternity house near the GSU campus.
Danielle “Elle” Kolb, from Mt. Airy, MD, was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Savannah on Aug. 31 after the fall, said her mother Roberta Kolb.
Due to computer system issues experienced over several days last week, Statesboro police did not release a report regarding the incident until Thursday. The report states the fall took place around 12:55 a.m. Aug. 31 at 102 Olympic Boulevard. Statesboro police officers “rendered aid” until EMS arrived, and Kolb was taken to the hospital, reports stated.
Roberta Kolb confirmed Friday that her daughter, a sophomore, had been invited to the Sigma Chi House by a fraternity member, a junior at GSU. It is yet unclear exactly what happened, but the Kolbs have secured the services of an attorney.
“Due to causes yet to be determined, Elle fell from a second-story window at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, suffering an L-3 burst fracture of her spine, rendering her unable to walk,” Roberta Kolb said. “She was life-flighted to Memorial Hospital in Savannah where she underwent a nine-hour surgery to stabilize her spine and has been hospitalized since the incident.”
The family has retained Bob Cheeley and Julia Merritt of Cheeley Law Group “to investigate how this incident happened and to consider possible legal action,” she said.
Cheeley represented several Georgia Southern nursing students and their families in an April 22, 2015 tractor trailer crash on Intersate 16. He achieved settlements for three wrongful death cases as well as a suit by another student injured in that crash.
Elle Kolb faces “up to a two-year rehabilitation program to sustain maximum recovery, but it is unclear if she will ever walk again,” her mother said. “We hope that Elle will be able to fly to Washington DC early next week to the National Rehabilitation Hospital at Washington Hospital Center to continue physical therapy and occupational therapy until she can return home to her family in Maryland. Elle is maintaining a positive outlook and is an inspiration to us all.”
Police reports did not list any details of the incident, and did not list anyone as a suspect or otherwise indicate reasons for the fall.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.