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Archive for Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friend: Teen who fell from balcony was locked out

A Lawrence man who fell from a third floor balcony early Friday morning was trying to get into his locked apartment.

August 10, 2008

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Lawrence teen Sean Ragan was attempting a maneuver he and friends had done in the past when he fell from a third-story balcony Friday, a friend said.

"It wasn't like a regular, everyday thing, but we'd done it a few times," said Darian Gonzales, a recent Lawrence Free State high school graduate and close friend to Ragan.

Ragan, 19, was flown to KU Hospital on Friday after an early-morning fall from a balcony at Campus Court at Naismith apartments, 1301 W. 24th St. The accident occurred before 5:30 a.m.

Gonzales said Ragan and at least one other friend were locked out of the apartment early Friday. She said Ragan climbed from the stairwell to the balcony to check whether a sliding glass door to the balcony was unlocked and, finding it locked, was returning to the stairwell when the accident occurred. She said she did not know where Ragan had been before returning to the apartment.

The ground was about 25 feet below the balcony.

Ragan's parents could not be reached Saturday. KU Hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch said he could neither confirm nor deny that Ragan was at the hospital. Lawrence Police Sgt. Dave Hubbel said Saturday morning that the young man's status had not changed. He had no further information on the incident.

Meanwhile, close friends reeled from the news about the young man they described as fun-loving and good-looking. A fan of Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, Ragan is laid-back and upbeat, they said.

"He's gorgeous," friend Stephanie Steinbach said. "He's a positive person always, and he's just an amazing person inside and out."

Steinbach and Gonzales carried a black Bob Marley sweatshirt with them Saturday. The shirt, which belongs to Ragan, was a link to their friend. They flipped through pictures of Ragan on their cell phones and pointed out his big smile.

They said they heard that Ragan went through several hours of surgery following the accident.

"He's stable," Gonzales said. "I do know that he moved his legs and his arms (Friday) night, and I believe he has surgery here in the next few days."

They are waiting and hoping.

"It's hard," Steinbach said, "to be sitting at home, thinking about it or trying not to think about it and wanting to be by his side and wanting to be with his family and just not being able to go and see him."

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