13th victim of porch collapse had ties with Evanston, NU

Elaine Helm

The 13th victim of a Lincoln Park porch collapse early June 29 was identified this week as a woman who worked in Evanston and had been accepted to a graduate program at Northwestern.

Kelly Pagel, 25, died Monday at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center from injuries sustained when a third-floor porch collapsed during a party at 713 W. Wrightwood Ave. in Chicago. Nearly 60 people were hurt and 12 others died.

The Associated Press reported that Chicago officials filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the owners and managers of the apartment building where the incident occurred, alleging they did not have a permit to build the porch, the porch was too large and it lacked proper support beams.

Pagel grew up in Minnetonka, Minn., and worked as a consultant for ZS Associates in Evanston, according to a recorded message at the hospital.

“Kelly’s vibrant personality, unbelievable determination in life, and love for friends and family will be sorely missed by all,” the message said. “Kelly’s family understands just how tragic this incident was, and appreciates all the love, support and interest by everyone.”

The family requested not to be contacted further by the media, and a spokeswoman for ZS Associates, 1800 Sherman Ave., refused to provide any information about Pagel.

Alan Cubbage, NU’s vice president for university relations, said he could not confirm that Pagel would be enrolled in any graduate program at the university for the fall.

Pagel received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2000 from the University of Michigan. Another victim of the porch collapse, Kelly McKinnell, 26, also graduated from Michigan in 1999, said Joe Serwach, a news service representative for the university.

Serwach said she did not know if Pagel and McKinnell were acquainted but added that she believed Pagel planned to pursue a master’s in business administration at Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Several other victims attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, according to the school’s Web site. Shea Fitzgerald, 19, and Sam Farmer, 21, graduated in 2001 and Julie Sorkin, 25, graduated in 1996.

The remaining victims of the collapse were identified by the Associated Press as: John T. Jackson, 22; Eileen Lupton, 22; Robert Koranda, 23; Katherine Sheriff, 23; Henry Wischerath, 24; Margaret Haynie, 25; Muhammed Hameeduddin, 25; and Eric Kumpf, 30.