Knox College student in coma after receiving mysterious injuries

By WEEK Producer

October 4, 2013 Updated Oct 4, 2013 at 9:55 PM CDT

GALESBURG, Ill. -- A Knox College student is fighting for his life in a Peoria hospital and nobody is sure what happened to put him there.

Zachary Paluch, 22, is in a deep coma and his family has no idea how it happened.

Two weeks ago, the promising artist and post-baccalaureate fellow was found lying by railroad tracks near the Knox College campus.

Amtrak trains run right through the center of town, but nobody seems to know if he was hit by a train or attacked.

Paluch was last seen walking alone on S. West St. at approximately 11:45 p.m. on September 15.

He was found unconscious and injured approximately 30 minutes later.


"When they did find him at the railroad tracks, he had no shirt, no shoes on and no cell phone," said the victim's brother, Chris Paluch.


Paluch was eventually identified by his fraternity tattoo.


He suffered a broken nose, a fractured eye socket and severe traumatic brain injury. He remains in critical condition at OSF ST. Francis Medical Center Hospital.


The family has raised close to $12,000 on an online donation page to help pay for his care.


"We have received a lot of emails, text messages, Facebook status messages expressing love and concern and care," Chris Paluch said. "We are keeping strong in prayer and hoping he comes out. It's going to be a long recovery. We don't know exactly what extent the recovery will be, but we will be there."


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