Archive for Sunday, February 25, 1996

THIRD-FLOOR BALCONY COLLAPSES UNDER MEN

February 25, 1996

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The bottom literally fell out from under Dustin Helm's fun Friday night.

Helm said about 12 people were at his Colony Woods apartment getting ready to head to a party just before 11 p.m. when his third-floor balcony collapsed with him and three friends on it.

"It just swung open like a door then hit the second deck, and that one swung open and we landed on the concrete pad," said Helm, 20, 1301 W. 24th, Apt. G-12. "We didn't make it to that party."

Helm, Robert Schumann, 21, and Brett Motlet, 18, all went by private vehicles to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where they were treated for scrapes and bruises and released. The fourth person on the balcony, Matt Johnson, 19, refused to be transported to the hospital when a Douglas County ambulance arrived on the scene.

Police Sgt. Mark Warren said when officers arrived at the scene, the three men had already left for the hospital. Warren said police contacted the city's head building inspector to report the incident.

Colony Woods Manager Julie Gibler said the area where the accident happened had been secured. She said she plans to contact the complex's insurance company Monday as well as inspectors. Gibler said there had been no similar accidents at the 374-unit complex, which is about 8 years old.

Helm said he had tried to call an attorney Saturday and plans to sue the complex's owners.

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