Cause of fall at Turner Field still a mystery

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ATLANTA — On the upper deck concourse at Turner Field, curious fans stood next to a railing overlooking a parking lot, wondering how a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan could have fallen to his death.

Homer  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Homer


While it’s not clear why he fell, police said Ronald Lee Homer Jr.’s death Monday night appeared accidental and didn’t involve foul play. At least four witnesses told police no one else was near him.

Standing next to the 42-inch high railing before Tuesday night’s game, Braves fan Larry Bowman said he felt safe.

“I can’t figure out what would have happened,” said Bowman, of Fairdale, W.Va. “It’s almost chest high. You would have to ... well, I don’t know.”

Homer, 30, knew the stadium well. He attended three or four games a month. At 6-foot-6, the railing would have come up to his midsection.

A police report said Homer was unconscious and wasn’t breathing when paramedics arrived. Toxicology tests were pending, but the medical examiner says he died from injuries in the fall.

“I don’t know what happened but you’ve got to feel for the family,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

“You don’t expect these things when you come to a baseball game or a sporting event.”

Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said the fall put things in perspective.

“We’re just playing a game, really,” he said. “That’s real-life stuff there, you know? Our hearts go out to the family and the friends of the victim and we’re with them.”

Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall declined to discuss the circumstances of the death or whether the team was planning safety changes.

Homer’s father, Ronald, said Turner Field should have been designed to prevent such falls.

“I would like to see the building built to prevent something like this happening to another family,” he said. “It should have been better engineered.”

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