The Colby community has provided an outpouring of support for the family of Rosamond L.L. Huntoon '01, who suffered serious injuries following a fall from her third-floor bedroom window in Dana Hall on October 15. The 19-year-old sophomore, known on campus as Lindsey, fell at approximately 4:45 a.m., according to police and rescue officials.
On the night of the accident, Huntoon reportedly attended an off-campus party and returned to her room at around 2 a.m. She talked to her roommate and went to bed, which was located adjacent to the window. Investigators found the window screen in the raised position after Huntoon's fall. She incurred internal injuries and fractures and sustained a severe head injury, which induced a coma.
Residents of Dana awakened by the commotion rushed to Huntoon's aid. At least two of the students immediately on the scene were members of Colby Emergency Response. Huntoon was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center, where she spent 17 days in the critical care unit.
Her parents said they received "extraordinary, spontaneous support" from Colby students while staying with her at MaineGeneral. Christopher Huntoon, her father, said, "The entire rugby team was there when we arrived. Lindsey is extremely fond of all her teammates and it was obvious to me why. Her room was filled with flowers and posters made by her friends."
More than 700 students attended an interfaith prayer vigil on October 27 for Huntoon, who remains at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, close to her Wenham, Mass., home. Spaulding is regarded as one of the best facilities in the country for treatment of brain injuries. While showing small signs of improvement, Huntoon had not yet regained consciousness early in December, according to her parents.
A 22-year-old student was arrested 13 hours after the accident on charges of providing alcohol to minors and providing a place for minors to consume alcohol. He was released on his own recognizance and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in early December.
In a letter to the Colby community, President Bill Cotter said that "every segment of the campus, especially students, must draw together, reflect on what has happened, and resolve, individually and collectively, to keep students and others from the terrible harm that can come from the inappropriate and excessive use of alcohol."
Alcohol-related issues already were being debated among students and administrators prior to the accident because of a spate of summonses handed out by investigators from the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement during the first three weeks of school. Huntoon's accident, combined with the MBLE crackdown on underage drinking, has heightened awareness and a sense of responsibility, say students. Many student party hosts are choosing to hold parties in groups to increase their ability to supervise. Also, a new rule approved this fall by the Student Government Association calls for a $250 fine for any person caught outside of a designated party space with an open alcohol container.