Braves fan who fell to death at Turner Field told mom, ‘I love you’
By JEFF MARTIN and PHILLIP LUCAS Associated Press August 13, 2013 9:52AM
Baseball fans look over a railing at Turner Field near the scene where a man fell 30-40 feet from the upper deck Monday Aug. 12, 2013. Details on exactly how the man fell, and what part of the stadium the incident occurred in, weren't immediately available. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal Constitution, Curtis Compton) MARIETTA DAILY OUT, GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT) LOCAL TV OUT (WXIA, WGCL, FOX 5).
Updated: August 14, 2013 10:58AM
ATLANTA — The mother of a Georgia man who died after falling from the upper deck of Turner Field in Atlanta says her son was a lifelong Braves fan who followed the team through losing seasons as well as winning ones.
Ronald Lee Homer Jr., fell about 65 feet at Monday night’s game between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, which had been delayed for nearly two hours by heavy rain, authorities said.
Homer, 30, spoke with his mother Connie Homer by cellphone as he and other fans waited for the rain to let up. In that conversation, he said the rain was beginning to slack off and indicated he was preparing to go into the seating area for the game.
“He said ‘I love you mom, and I said ‘I love you too’ and that was it,” his mother said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday morning.
“He was big hearted, just a great guy, very respectful,” she said. “It didn’t matter if they were winning, losing or what — he’s been a Braves fan forever.”
Homer, who grew up in Conyers, Ga., graduated in 2001 from Rockdale High School, where he was involved in student government.
He was 6 feet, 6-inches tall and did landscape work for a living, his mother said. He was her only son and leaves behind one sister.
There’s no indication of foul play, and the fall appears to have been an accident, Atlanta police spokesman John Chafee said.
Connie Homer said she’s heard nothing from authorities as to what might have caused her son to fall. An autopsy was planned for Tuesday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
An Atlanta Braves spokeswoman declined comment Monday night, referring calls to the Atlanta police.
It was not the first fall at the stadium to result in death.
In May 2008, a 25-year-old man suffered head injuries when he fell down a stairwell at Turner Field during a game and later died. Police found that alcohol had factored into that accident, which the Braves had said was the first non-medical fatality to happen at the ballpark.
In August 2012, a 20-year-old man died after falling over a railing during a football game. Authorities said he landed on another man seated in the lower level and that alcohol was a factor.
The next month, a man fell about 25 feet over a staircase railing at a football game and was not seriously injured.
Turner Field served as the site of events for the 1996 Summer Olympics.