The parents of a man who died after plunging 85 feet from the upper deck of Turner Field in Atlanta on Monday night blamed the stadium's design for their son’s death.
Ronald Homer Jr., 30, of Conyers, Ga., fell from onto a parking lot during a rain delay before the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was transported to Atlanta Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
"I would like to see the building built to prevent something like this happening to another family," his father, Ronald Homer Sr., told The Associated Press. "It should have been better engineered from the jump-street when they built that stadium.
"This this is going to hurt us for the rest of our life," he said. "When you lose a kid, not only your kid but your best friend, too, it's bad."
The Fulton County Medical Examiner on Tuesday said Homer’s death was solely the result of blunt force trauma. The medical examiner’s report said further investigation, witness’ accounts and toxicology testing would be necessary to determine why Homer fell over the railing.
Witnesses told police no one was standing with Homer when he fell over the upper deck, the Associated Press reported.
Atlanta Police spokesman John Chafee said, "There is no indication of foul play and the fall appears accidental."
In a statement Tuesday, the team said: "The Atlanta Braves extend our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to Mr. Homer's family and friends. 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.
"The Atlanta Braves will observe a moment of silence for Mr. Homer before tonight's game."
Homer's mother, Connie Homer, told The Associated Press her only son was probably smoking a cigarette while he passed the time of a rain delay. He had called her from the Monday night game to say that rain was starting to let up and he was preparing to go back in the stadium.
She said he ended the call in his typical way, "He said 'I love you mom, and I said 'I love you too' and that was it."
Homer told NBC Atlanta affiliate WXIA that her son, a landscaping worker, was about six and a half feet tall. The safety railings where he was standing are three and a half feet high, the station reported.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he was leaning over looking at the cars in the players' parking lot," she said, adding that her son probably wasn't drunk.
"He might have had one or two beers but no more than that," Connie Homer told WXIA, adding, "He was tight with his money. He's a good guy."
According to Homer Sr., his son went to see the Braves play a few times a month and never missed a game on TV.
"It didn't matter if they were winning, losing or what — he's been a Braves fan forever," said Connie Homer.
"I'm just sick," she said. "We're a very close family. He was big-hearted."
Monday night's fatal fall appears to be the second at Turner Field since it became the team's home in 1997.
A 25-year-old Georgia man fell down a stairwell during a game at Turner Field in 2008, and later died in what police determined to be an alcohol-related incident, according to The Associated Press.
NBC News' Matthew DeLuca and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published August 14 2013, 12:54 AM