Student falls from railroad tressel

By Holly Schubert

An NIU junior who fell from a railroad tressel early Saturday morning faces about ten hours of surgery Tuesday for a broken lower vertebra.

Dale Spencer, 20, of 916 Greenbrier Drive, was listed in fair condition Sunday in the intensive care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, a NMH spokesperson said.

Spencer, a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, was with a group of friends when he fell off the Chicago and Northwestern railroad tressel located behind the restaurant It’s Greek to Me, 233 W. Lincoln Hwy.

Jim Klimas, Delta Sigma Phi president, said Spencer is numb from the middle of his thighs to his toes.

Marcus Nuygen, Spencer’s roommate, said doctors are hoping a bone pressing on a nerve is causing the numbness and that surgery Tuesday will restore the feeling in his legs.

Nuygen said Spencer was taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital by ambulance and then flown to NMH by helicopter because the injury was spine-related.

Nuygen, who was not present at the accident, said “some guys were just playing around when Spencer fell off the bridge.”

Klimas, who also was not present at the accident, said he did not wish to comment on why Spencer was on the bridge or what caused him to fall.

Spencer’s accident happened at the same tressel under which Kevin Clark, 25, was found dead Nov. 29.

Members of the fraternity were allowed to visit Spencer two at time at the hosital Sunday. “He (Spencer) needs a lot of prayers now,” Nuygen said.