Two Balcony Falls In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY — Two falls from balconies in Ocean City within 24 hours last week resulted in the death of a local man and left a West Virginia man in critical condition.

Around 6:30 p.m. last Thursday, OCPD officers responded to a hotel in the area of 25th Street and Baltimore Ave. after a 23-year-old West Virginia man fell from a third-floor balcony. The victim has been identified as Patrick Thomas, 23, of Inwood, W.Va. During the investigation, officers learned the victim had been reaching over the railing to a balcony below before falling approximately 21 feet to the ground. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor.

The victim was treated on the scene first by OCPD officers until Ocean City EMS arrived and was transported to PRMC in Salisbury via Maryland State Police helicopter Trooper 4. He was later flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The victim was listed in critical condition.

Around 3:20 p.m. on Friday, Ocean City Police and Emergency Services responded to the area of the Excaliber condominium on 132nd Street after a citizen discovered an unconscious man near the entrance to the 10-story building. Shortly after their arrival, Ocean City EMS determined the individual identified as a 51-year-old Ocean City man to be deceased.

The Ocean City Police Criminal Investigation Division determined the victim had jumped off the building from a significant height. The Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide.

The first incident last week was an accident and an all-too familiar occurrence in the resort. Ocean City Police and Emergency Services respond to a handful of balcony falls each season and most are avoidable.

“Unfortunately, a small number of these accidents happen each summer and they are tragic every time,” said OCPD spokesperson Lindsay Richard this week. “We’d like to remind our citizens that balconies and alcohol do not mix. Citizens should never horse around on a balcony, reach over the railing or do anything else that would increase their chance of losing their balance. It could turn into a fatal mistake that could easily have been avoided.”

The OCPD advised guests to never reach over balconies and never attempt to go from balcony to balcony. If one wants to get to another room, take the elevator or walk down the hall. In addition, parents are encouraged to prevent children from being on a balcony alone and install wire meshing or some other barrier to prevent children from falling.