Student suffers fatal cut to artery

By Daron Walker

John J. Fenzel, 21, of Lincoln Hall, died early Friday after he fell and suffered a fatal cut from a beer glass he was carrying in his right pocket.

DeKalb Deputy Coroner Earl Tischler said Fenzel fell after running into a guide wire of a telephone pole. The broken beer glass in Fenzel’s right pocket then cut a vein and an artery, which caused Fenzel’s death, Tischler said.

“It was a very deep cut,” Tischler added.

Tischler said there was a mark on Fenzel’s chest from where he hit the guide wire.

DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said one of the two glasses Fenzel was carrying in his front pockets broke when he fell, severing an artery in his right leg.

“He apparently fell and severed the femoral artery in his right thigh. There was blood loss and shock,” Miller said.

Miller said the femoral artery is one of the major arteries in the human body. He said there were no signs of foul play on Fenzel’s body.

Miller said the glass was a “beer or pop glass.”

According to DeKalb Police, they received the report at 12:47 a.m. Friday from a resident on the 200 block of Oak Street, and found him bleeding on the sidewalk near 218 Oak St.

Oak Street lies two blocks north of Lincoln Highway, where most of DeKalb’s taverns and drinking establishments do business.

The officer who found Fenzel reported blood on his Levis but there was no head injury. He said that Fenzel appeared to have a “wound somewhere on his leg and back.”

Fenzel was transported to Kishwaukee Community Hospital where he died at 2:32 a.m. Friday.

Miller said the autopsy was performed Friday afternoon but did not know the exact cause of death on Saturday.

Tischler said further information on the level of Fenzel’s intoxication would not be available until Tuesday.

One resident of Fenzel’s floor said he hardly knew Fenzel when Fenzel helped him jump start his car.

“He was a real generous guy. He had a lot of stuff to do one day and he helped me jump start my car. He was really selfless,” the resident said.

Another member of the floor described Fenzel as being “a great guy.” He said most of the floor was at Fenzel’s wake Sunday.

Fenzel, who residents said was a junior transfer in his first semester at NIU, was from Rolling Meadows, Ill.