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Man dies after 65-foot fall at Turner Field during Braves-Phillies game

By Ed Payne and Dave Alsup, CNN
updated 7:07 PM EDT, Tue August 13, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Homer was alone when he fell, witnesses tell police
  • A cause of death has not being released, pending toxicology results
  • Homer, 30, of Georgia, dies after falling at Turner Field, officials say
  • He fell about 65 feet from an upper level of Atlanta Braves' baseball stadium

Atlanta (CNN) -- A Georgia man was alone before his fatal fall from an upper level of Atlanta's Turner Field, police said Tuesday, as they continue to investigate his death.

Ronald L. Homer, 30, was attending Monday night's Braves game against the Phillies. The Braves said they planned to observe a moment of silence for Homer before Tuesday's game.

Four witnesses told officers that they saw Homer fall from the fourth level of the stadium during a rain delay in the game, the Atlanta Police Department said.

"All the witnesses stated that there was (sic) no other people around Mr. Homer when he fell," police said, adding there were no surveillance cameras at the scene.

Police said the fall appeared to be accidental but that it was too early to tell if alcohol was a factor.

Homer, of nearby Conyers, fell 65 feet into the players' parking lot. He was unconscious when emergency responders found him, but he died later at the hospital, police said.

An autopsy on Homer is complete, but authorities are not releasing details, citing pending toxicology results, Tami Sedivy-Schroder, an investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, said Tuesday. Results can take up to eight weeks, she said.

Homer's mother, Connie Homer, told CNN affiliate WXIA that he was a big Braves fan who was attending the game with a friend.

"I'm just sick," she said. "We're a very close family. He was big-hearted."

The game was scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. but heavy rains pushed back the start time nearly two hours.

His family said Homer went to the platform to smoke and may have lost his footing on the wet pavement, according to WXIA.

Homer was 6 feet, 6 inches tall; the guard rail where he fell is 42 inches high, the industry standard and state code, WXIA reported.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Atlanta Braves extended condolences to Homer's family.

"We are saddened by this tragic incident and will continue our investigation along with the Atlanta Police Department. We will have no further comment until the investigation is complete."

It's the second such death at an Atlanta sporting venue in the last year.

On August 31, a Tennessee fan died after falling about 45 feet at the Georgia Dome during a college football game between North Carolina State and the University of Tennessee.

In July 2011, a Texas fan died after falling 20 feet at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, while trying to catch a ball thrown to him by outfielder Josh Hamilton.

CNN's Devon Sayers, Jill Martin and Jamie Morrison contributed to this report.

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