Thursday, March 25, 2010

Panama Beach Balcony Fallings

According to the Panama City Herald, a Spring Break reveler died early last night "after falling five stories from a motel balcony... ." He was identified late today as Brandon Ward Kohler, 19, of Winder, Ga.

The Panama City newspaper adds that this --
was the first fatal balcony fall during this year’s Spring Break — one of the busiest in recent years — and the only such death since 2008.
The paper sounds almost proud of those statistics, doesn't it? The "only such death" in three years.

Of course, another way of putting it is, Panama City Beach is batting 2 for 3 annual balcony deaths, or .666. That's a major league average. Never mind the other near-death experiences:
Two people have survived falls this year. Earlier this month, a 21-year-old spring breaker fell three stories between a parking garage and the Laketown Wharf resort on South Thomas Drive. He suffered deep cuts, bruises and a sprained ankle.

Days later, a 20-year-old spring breaker fell about 12 feet when a second-floor balcony rail broke at a rental house on Beach Drive.

We don't care to speculate about the how's or why's of Brandon Kohler's death. It is a tragedy.

But all those young people fallings off high places in a single beach town can't be coincidental.

It's probably too much to expect Panama City Beach bar owners to stop serving manifestly inebriated or high Spring Breakers when they still have spare change or plastic in their pockets. But you'd think a beach town that promotes itself as the place to be for Spring Break drunk fests would put wire cages, or something, around all of its hotel balconies and other high perches.

Dept. of Panama City Spring Break Necropsy
Another balcony death in Panama City: "Panama City Plunge"


Anonymous said...

Yep they been falling off those balconies since Spring Break of 1975. What's new?

More drugs or more alcohol.

Anonymous said...

I've been going to that days inn the last 5 years and as soon as you check in they drill it in your head to stay OFF of the balconies, no climbing from room to room, no playing on the balconies, if you have more than 3 or 4 people on your balcony they will tell you to break the party up, etc....if people would just listen to the rules nobody would be falling off.