Mother: Man who died at Braves game was loyal fan
by Jeff Martin, Associated Press and Phillip Lucas, Associated Press
August 14, 2013 12:09 AM | 1476 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ronald Lee Homer Jr.
Ronald Lee Homer Jr.
Ronald Homer Jr., 30, fell from an upper-level platform into the player’s parking lot at Turner Field on Monday. It was at least the third time a sports fan has fallen from a stadium in Atlanta in the past year.<Br>The Associated Press
Ronald Homer Jr., 30, fell from an upper-level platform into the player’s parking lot at Turner Field on Monday. It was at least the third time a sports fan has fallen from a stadium in Atlanta in the past year.
The Associated Press
ATLANTA — A lifelong Atlanta Braves fan who fell about 85 feet to his death at the team’s stadium was waiting out a rain delay in a smoking area and talking to his mother on the phone shortly before the accident.

Ronald Lee Homer Jr., 30, had just told his mother that the rain was letting up and he was about to head to his seat for the game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night. At least four witnesses told police that no one else was standing near him when he fell over a 42-inch high, fourth-level railing into a parking lot for players.

“He said ‘I love you mom, and I said ‘I love you too’ and that was it,” his mother, Connie Homer, said in an interview on Tuesday morning.

Police said the fall that occurred around 8:30 p.m. appears to have been an accident and there was no indication of foul play. A police report released Tuesday says Homer was unconscious and wasn’t breathing when paramedics arrived. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Homer didn’t appear to suffer any injuries aside from ones that were associated with his fall, Fulton County Medical Office investigators said in a release. He died of blunt force trauma. Toxicology tests were pending.

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 Braves play the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday at TurnerField. A team spokeswoman declined to comment on the circumstances of Homer’s death, or whether safety changes were being made.

“We are saddened by this tragic incident and will continue our investigation along with the Atlanta Police Department,” Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall said in a statement. She added that the team would observe a moment of silence before Tuesday evening’s game.

Connie Homer said her 6-foot-6 son followed the team through losing seasons as well as winning ones.

“It didn’t matter if they were winning, losing or what — he’s been a Braves fan forever,” she said.

Homer, who always wore a Braves baseball hat, went to three or four games a month and watched every game that was televised, his father Ronald Homer said.

“This is going to hurt us for the rest of our life,” he said. “When you lose a kid, not only your kid but your best friend, too, it’s bad.”

Homer grew up in Conyers, and graduated in 2001 from Rockdale High School, where he was involved in student government. He was single, had one sister and did landscape work for a living.

“He was big hearted, just a great guy, very respectful,” his mother said.

Smoking is allowed in the area where Homer fell, which overlooks a parking lot used by Braves players. Though Connie Homer doesn’t know details of how her son fell, she said he was a smoker.

Connie Homer said she’s heard nothing from authorities as to what might have caused her son to fall.

“They called us up to the hospital and they told us he was gone,” she said. “The whole thing is surreal.”

Monday’s accident wasn’t the first fatal fall by a fan at Turner Field, and two other people fell from heights at the city’s pro football stadium in the past year.

Isaac Grubb, 20, of Lenoir City, Tenn., died after falling over a railing at the Georgia Dome during a football game between Tennessee and North Carolina State on Aug. 31, 2012. Authorities said he landed on another man seated in the lower level, and that alcohol was involved.

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August 14, 2013
Looks like he may have leaned back on a wet railing. I think clumsiness ended up getting him killed, tho maybe they can make those fences a bit taller. The only good that will come out of this story is that maybe they do make the fences a bit higher, and maybe people will be less clumsy. I think taller people tend to be a bit more clumsy for some odd reason. It's probably because they're lugging around a lot of height.
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