Daily Egyptian 

Monday, October 18, 1982

SIU-C student falls from bluff

An SIU-C student is listed in critical condition after she fell off a bluff Saturday afternoon at Little Grand Canyon, south of Murphysboro.

Nancy Turcich, 19, of Chicago, was carried 1 1/2 miles by friends and volunteers to a parking lot, where she was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

The accident occurred when Miss Turcich slid down a waterfall or stream and went off the end of the bluff, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said. Five volunteers joined her friends to help rescue her.


I made the headlines. Not in some great style or in a fabulous fashion, but a student falling from a nearby bluff stirred things up at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

It was only after 27 years that I heard from a friend that a reporter wanted to talk with them. Fearing repercussions (paranoid teens), they turned the reporter away.

While compiling,“Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life,” I tracked down the Daily Egyptian snippet. It was odd to read the words and imagine a young college reporter gathering the facts for the college newspaper.

I was told there were two volunteers plus professionals, but who am I to question the Egyptian’s totaling of five.

1 1/2 miles sounds like a walk in the park, except when you are carrying an injured person in a basket. Challenging rock formations, foliage, and sunset added to the stroll.

My buddy Mike was right, perhaps a different pathway would have been best, but I chose what looked like the fastest way down. I just didn’t see the 40ft drop between point A and point B.

I do remember being wheeled into the ICU after hours of tests only to hear, “We have a live on here.” I remember thinking, “Compared to what?” In my mind, everything was going to be ok. Once I saw the relief on my parent’s faces, the nurse’s comment registered more clearly. I was in the ICU, but I was responsive. In fact, I was talking and everything. Well, I couldn’t move. . . but I was ALIVE. Now that should have been the headline: SIU-C student falls from bluff and is ALIVE. Be well… Nancy T

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