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IU pushes Lifeline Law following student’s death

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As family and friends of a Zionsville teen who died days before classes began at Indiana University honor her life, school officials are spreading the word about the state’s new Lifeline Law.

Nineteen-year-old Rachael Fiege died after falling at a party. No one at the gathering called for help until six hours after she fell. Her visitation was Friday at the Zionsville Presbyterian Church; the funeral is Saturday at noon.

While it’s not clear yet if Fiege had been drinking, IU police said there was alcohol at the party. Since her death there have been many questions about what could have been done differently to save her life.

“There is this notion that it’s a rite of passage,” said IU Dean of Students Pete Goldsmith about underage drinking on campus. He and other held a live forum on the university’s radio station, WFIU. “I think, again, that it is a phenomena that most college campuses experience.”

Goldsmith was accompanied by IUPD’s interim Chief Laury Flint to talk about the Lifeline Law. Enacted last summer, the law gives immunity to minors who call for help when someone is hurt even if they have been under the influence.

This week, Fox 59 discovered few students knew about the law. Campus leaders want to change that.

Flint said there won’t be any charges filed in connection with Fiege’s death. Instead, she and Goldsmith hope students will learn from the tragedy.

“I think something good needs to come out of this situation. I think that would help everybody heal,” said Flint.