CPS Teacher Dies At Hotel Halloween Party

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.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports

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.

  • Nancy

    Poor thing. I did stuff like that when I was 23, usually after a few drinks.

  • t

    I heard about this on the radio this morning. its like jeeez, dont people use a little coomon sense or caution when they start drinking anymore? 4 stories from stairs? come on!!!

  • Sherri

    Young people don’t think! They believe they are invincible. What a waste of youth. LEAVE THE ALCOHOL AONE!!!

  • retiredteacher1

    …and being a CPS Teacher one would think there should have been more common sense involved!

  • Nancy

    Hello? Previous posters? Did you not read in the above article “alcohol did not appear to be a factor”
    It was just one of those spur of the moment things kids sometimes do when having fun. Have a tiny bit of sympathy, why don’t you?

  • judy genisio

    I just want to say to the family that i am very sorry for your loss.

  • Edward

    I feel sorry for her family and students, we don’t value our special education teachers like we should. Sometimes I wish we could just turn back the clock and do things differently.

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  • Mike

    With all due respect and condolences to the family, I find it hard to believe that she wasn’t drinking. Gee, she was at a Halloween party sliding down four story balcony railings? What else would possess such and educated person to do something so stupid? The article doesn’t say that she “wasn’t” drinking, it just says that it “appears” that alcohol wasn’t involved. Bet they downplayed it because she was a CPS teacher. If it was a cop or fireman, I bet they wouldn’t have got the same “sympathetic” news coverage Just another tragic loss of life due to the irresponsible behavior from another “me generation” kid. This is EXACTLY why the Chicago Police Dept. is changing the minimum hiring age to 25. These kids today are VERY immature for their age. .

  • cris

    Amen Mike.

    I am very sorry for her family. I did much dumber stuff when I was 23, with and without alcohol. I’m lucky and grateful to be alive.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2010/11/01/grief-counselors-at-school-after-teacher-dies/ Grief Counselors At School After Teacher Dies « CBS Chicago – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago

    […] Megan Duskey, 23, fell four stories over a staircase at the Palmer House Hilton during a Halloween p… […]

  • Anne Taylor

    Listen Mike, Mr. Know It All
    Megan was NOT drinking. She had only just arrived to the party. She was an extremely athletic girl. Why wouldn’t an energetic 23 year old think she couldn’t slide down the bannister? Megan was very mature for her age. How many 23 year olds teach special education on the south side for Chicago Public Schools? She was the least of the “me” generation. Before you go popping off, you should have the facts first. Anne Taylor

  • Bruce

    Why shouldn’t she slide down a bannister? Because, DUH, she’s at a hotel? A suppsedly classy hotel? I don’t care if she was drinking or stone sober, she was either raised in a trailer or didn’t have the sense her education should have provided. Spare me. Oh, and by the way, by the time you’re 23, educated and an educator, you should act like an adult. Great role model.

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