Updated: 10/31/10 8:07 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – A Chicago Public School teacher who was an NIU graduate fell to her death attempting to slide down a railing at a downtown hotel at a Saturday night Halloween party.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore With Family’s Statement
The woman — identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as 23-year-old Megan E. Duskey — attempted to slide down the railing at the mezzanine of The Palmer House Hilton Hotel, and fell to the basement level about 10:30 p.m., police said.
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Police say she sat down on a railing of a curved stairwell, attempting to slide down when she lost her balance and fell four stories. The ballroom is on the fourth floor of the Palmer House – and the stairwell is on the State Street side of the hotel.
“It seemed like it just was an unfortunate event that this girl decided to do something a little crazy,” said Ben Clements, who also attended the Halloween party.
Duskey was dead on the scene, according to the medical examiner’s office. Police said she suffered head trauma.
An autopsy on Sunday found that she died of multiple injuries from a fall from height and her death was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Police say alcohol didn’t appear to be a factor.
A family member tells Newsradio 780 that Megan Duskey graduated from NIU in 2009 with a degree in special education and was working as a school teacher in Chicago.
Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Monique Bond says Megan Duskey is an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher at Orville T. Bright School.
Bond says crisis counselors will be at the school on Monday.
In a statement, Duskey’s family said, “She was a caring, energetic person who was full of life and eager to help others and make a difference in the world.”
The hotel was hosting a party called the Haunted Hotel Ball. About 2,000 people were expected. Messages left for hotel officials weren’t immediately returned Sunday.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole, Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller, the Sun-Times Media Wire and the Associated Press contributed to this report.