Accident Makes Turner Field Baseball's Deadliest

There have been 3 fatal falls since 2008
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2015 3:01 AM CDT
Accident Makes Turner Field Baseball's Deadliest
Fans look on as emergency medical personnel work on a fan who fell from an upper deck at Turner Field during a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves on Saturday.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The death of a Braves fan on Saturday at Turner Field was not only tragic, it was the third such death at the stadium since 2008, giving it the unwelcome title of baseball's deadliest, according to ballpark expert Robert Gorman. He tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the death of 60-year-old fan Gregory Murrey is the 24th falling death at a baseball stadium since 1969, and one of the biggest factors is the size of modern ballparks. "It's because the stadiums are so big, you have a longer way to fall," he says, adding the problem will be hard to fix without ruining sightlines, because if "you make the railings too high, the people in the front row won't be able to see." A 2013 Turner Field fall was ruled a suicide, and police say a 2008 falling death at the ballpark involved alcohol.

Police don't suspect foul play in the death of Murrey, who tumbled as fans rushed to boo Alex Rodriguez. A doctor who was at the game tells ABC News that he saw Murrey fall from the upper deck into the lower stands and that he ran over to help. "It's one of those things that you hope you never see or experience," he says. "And I certainly hope I never see or experience it again." The Braves—who move to a new stadium in 2017—had a moment of silence yesterday and lowered flags to half-staff to mourn Murrey, though they were criticized on Saturday for not stopping the game as paramedics attended to him, reports the Washington Post. (In a less deadly Turner Field accident, a US flag was set on fire during its home opener last year.)

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