Visitor falls 43 feet out of 6th-floor Markley window

By Austen Hufford, Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 8, 2012

A guest of a University student reportedly fell 43 feet from a window in Mary Markley Residence Hall early in the morning on Nov. 18, according to University Police.

University Housing Security was not informed of the incident until late Monday afternoon, when it was contacted by the University’s Risk Management Services. University Police were subsequently brought in to investigate. The incident occurred between 4 and 7 a.m. from a sixth floor window located inside a Markley bedroom. Police say the 18-year-old male fell to the grass on the side of the hall.

At about 9 a.m., the man was able to stand up and walk to the front of the building. After borrowing a cell phone, he called his friends, who only then took him to the emergency room at the University Hospital.

University Police spokeswoman Diane Brown said the man was “significantly” injured, but has since been released from the University Hospital. Due to privacy laws, the man’s name is not being released at this time, and his current condition and specific injuries sustained during the incident are unknown.

The man was visiting from Ohio, Brown said, and University Police believe that his hosts may have been sleeping in the room at the time of the incident.

Brown noted that police do not think there were any witnesses and are investigating how the man fell from the window.

“It’s a personal injury investigation to determine what happened including if there was a crime committed, but at this point we have no evidence to indicate anything other than this being an accident,” Brown said.

The campus community was not notified because the incident did not pose a public safety risk, she added.

Brown said window limiters, which prevent a window from opening fully, were in place and functioning at the time of the incident. University students commonly keep windows open, even in winter, as it allows for temperature control without individual thermostats.

“It’s a very unfortunate circumstances but there have been a lot of people who have lived in these residence halls and stayed in these residence halls and sometimes these accidents will happen,” Brown said. “(We) try to minimize those and try to prevent them.”

In a similar incident in 1998, then-LSA freshman Courtney Cantor died when she fell out of her sixth floor room in Markley.

Cantor had allegedly been consuming alcohol at a Phi Delta Theta fraternity party prior to the fall, and an autopsy report revealed traces of GHB, a Schedule I controlled substance, The Michigan Daily reported at the time. Cantor’s family suedthe fraternity and the University, which eventually agreed to pay $100,000.