Posted by: Bob Gorman | September 8, 2015

Fan Fatalities from Falls

The recent death of 60-year-old Gregory Murrey after falling over an upper deck railing at Turner Field has raised awareness of one of dangers of the modern large-capacity ballparks.  While fans have died from falls in the past, it’s really been in the last 50 years that there has been a spike in such fatalities.  And with good reason: today’s mega-stadiums are much larger and higher than those in earlier decades.  What follows is a list of these fatalities from 1969 to the present, including suicides.

8/5/1969 Memorial Stadium, Baltimore George Shramek, 24 Jumped from upper deck during batting practice
7/22/1971 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh Gary Pettitt, 22 Fell while jumping from one exit ramp to another
8/24/1971 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia Glenn Shober, 37 Fell through opening where left field scoreboard was lowered when not in use
4/18/1972 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh Joseph Farrell, 17 Fell while jumping from one exit ramp to another
8/29/1979 Olympic Stadium, Montreal Michel Bergeron, 28 Climbed a glass wall and fell 10 feet into the visitor’s bullpen
7/13/1980 Shea Stadium, New York Bruce Winick, 28 Jumped from 5th mezzanine level to street below after arguing with a friend
7/19/1982 Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati Lora Schneeman, 21 Fell 35 feet from the upper deck to first row of lower level seats
6/6/1984 Candlestick Park, San Francisco Anthony Perry, 30 Fell from upper deck while yelling at the Giants as they left the field after a loss
5/1/1985 Shea Stadium, New York Mark Leddy, 21 Fell while sliding down the rail of an escalator
5/16/1986 Comiskey Park, Chicago Edward Joyce, 53 Fell while sitting on upper deck railing
4/24/1989 Shea Stadium, NY Norine Cusick, 46 Committed suicide by climbing to the top of a 120 foot foul pole and jumping while stadium was empty
4/27/1989 Royals Stadium, Kansas City Mike Wurzer, 20 Tried to do handstand while walking down aisle and flipped over upper deck railing
8/13/1991 SkyDome, Toronto Kenneth Piery, 39 Fell seven stories while jumping from ramp to ramp
8/13/1993 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh Clifford Toolerton, 75 Fell down stairs while walking to his seat
4/25/1999 Yankee Stadium, New York Francisco Munoz, 37 Fell while riding on escalator hand rail
9/17/2003 Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco Todd Adams, 35 Fell over railing 25 feet to sidewalk outside of park
7/29/2004 Miller Park, Milwaukee James Kolata, 48 Fell while riding on escalator hand rail
4/15/2008 Shea Stadium, New York Antonio Nararainsami, 36 Fell while sliding down escalator hand rail
5/21/2008 Turner Field, Atlanta Justin Hayes, 25 Fell while sliding down stair railing
5/14/2010 Miller Park, Milwaukee Stuart Springstube, 51 Fell over railing while reaching for a batted ball during batting practice. 15-foot fall resulted in his death from brain hemorrhage three weeks later
5/25/2011 Coors Field, Denver Robert Seamans, 27 Fell while sliding down stair railing
7/7/2011 Rangers Ballpark, Arlington Shannon Stone, 39 Fell over railing while attempting to catch a foul ball
8/12/2013 Turner Field Ronald Homer, 30 Fell over upper deck railing into the players parking lot; Was ruled a suicide
8/29/2015 Turner Field Gregory Murrey, 60 Fell from upper deck in the stands behind home plate

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