Braves Fan Who Fell to His Death Knew Turner Field Well

Photo Credit: CNN

Lifetime Atlanta Braves fan Ronald Lee Homer Jr. knew the stadium where he fell to his death well. He attended three or four games a month at Turner Field and watched as many televised games as he could, his father said. He always wore a Braves hat.

On Monday night, Homer was waiting out a rain delay in a fourth-level smoking area with a 42-inch railing that would have come up to the midsection of the 6-foot-6-inch fan. He told his mother during a phone conversation that the rain was ending and he was heading to his seat for the game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Shortly afterward, he fell about 85 feet into a parking lot.

“He said ‘I love you mom,’ and I said ‘I love you too’ and that was it,” his mother, Connie Homer, told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning.

While it’s not clear exactly why he fell, police say the death around 8:30 p.m. appears to have been an accident and did not involve foul play. At least four witnesses have told police that no one else was standing near him when he fell.

A police report released Tuesday says Homer was unconscious and was not breathing when paramedics arrived. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Toxicology tests are pending, but the medical examiner says he died from injuries in the fall.

The frequency of such falls around the country — including two others in Atlanta in the past year — raises the question of whether stadiums are safe enough. The International Building Code, which is the accepted industry standard, has a minimum height requirement of 42 inches for guard rails that act as protective barriers in open-sided areas such as walkways or smoking platforms. Railings in front of seated areas must be 26 inches…

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