Tragedy struck Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, on August 12, 2013. Ronald Lee Homer, Junior, was a devoted Atlanta Braves fan. He was tall, standing at six feet and six inches, noticeable from a distance, and was deeply loved by those who knew him.
The thirty-year-old from Conyers came to show his support for the Atlanta Braves in the game against the Philadelphia Phillies. While the evening began rainy and stormy, the weather cleared and the National Anthem was sung. Ronald Homer, Junior, leaned over a railing in the upper arena, though it is not clear why, before plunging sixty-five feet and landing in the parking lot that belonged to the baseball players. This incident occurred around 8:55 p.m. after the game had been delayed for an hour and forty-eight minutes and shortly after the actual game had begun. Mr. Homer was transported to Atlanta Medical Center where he did from the injuries.
The guard rail presently stands at forty-two inches, meeting both the state as well as industry requirements; however, many questions remain unanswered. Was the railing adequately created for someone of Roger's stature? Should stricter guidelines be enforced to accommodate potential fans of all heights, shapes, and sizes? Why does it take tragedy for changes to be made?
The Atlanta Braves observed a moment of silence in honor of Ronald Homer and released the following statement:
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.
Investigations are under way and concern is being sent to Ronald Lee Homer, Junior's family, but is that enough? Ron Homer, Senior, Roger's grieving father, shared this reflective statement, "It's just something that should never have happened. I just hope nobody ever has to go through what we're going through."
Both parents are grieving the loss of their beloved son. Mr. Homer said, "This this is going to hurt us for the rest of our life. When you lose a kid, not only your kid but your best friend, too, it's bad."
His heart-broken mother had this to say, "I'm just sick. We're a very close family. He was big-hearted."
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Other similar tragedies have befallen sports enthusiasts. In the same venue, Turner Field, back in 2008, a twenty-five-year-old young man fell from a stairwell during the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets game, where ultimately he died from sustained head injuries. Just last year on August 31, 2012, Isaac Grubb fell over a railing at the Georgia Dome during the football game between Tennessee and North Carolina State. Again, barely a month later on September 22, 2012, another man fell twenty-five feet over a railing at the Georgia Tech and Miami football game, facing detrimental injuries.
The death of Ronald Lee Homer, Junior, has not only disheartened his family, but all who hear of the news.
So sad to hear about the fan that died at game last night. Keep Ron Homer and his family in your thoughts. http://t.co/eJbN5gjk5T
— Faux Frank Wren (@fauxfrankwren) August 13, 2013