Falls Kill 2 More Students on Spring Break in Florida

From Times Wire Services

Two college students died in falls over the weekend, bringing to five the number of students who have been killed in similar accidents while spending spring break in Florida this year.

Paul M. Morse, 21, of Omaha, Neb., a University of Nebraska student, lost his balance or misjudged the distance when he attempted to jump from one ninth-floor balcony to another and fell early Sunday at the La Playa-Best Western Hotel, police said in Daytona Beach.

Fort Lauderdale police said Michael C. Hutchings, 22, of Buffalo Grove, Ill., a student at Western Illinois University, apparently fell backward over a balcony railing at the Pier 66 Hotel early Saturday.


3 Fatal Falls in 1985

Three students died in balcony falls in Daytona Beach during the 1985 spring break period. Five students have suffered non-fatal injuries in balcony falls this year.

The accidents prompted Daytona Beach to permit Penrod’s Plaza, site of one of the 1985 deaths, to seal its balcony doors and windows in what would normally be a fire code violation.

Police in Daytona Beach have warned that anyone caught climbing on hotel balconies would be arrested, but hotel guests said the warning has had little effect.

Woman Student Killed

A Georgia college student, Laurin Day Buffington of Griffin, Ga., died in a fall Thursday in Daytona Beach. Police said she fell six floors when she lost her grip while climbing across an outdoor balcony from one hotel room to another.

Rory Savas, 19, of Wauwatosa, Wis., a student at the University of Arizona, was killed Thursday when he apparently leaned too far over a fourth-floor balcony and fell at the Sun Dial Resort in Sanibel.

In Miami last weekend, Timothy Corbett, 20, of Morristown, N.J., fell 42 feet to his death from a bridge under construction on the Miami River. Police said Corbett, a student at York College in York, Pa., apparently had been drinking and fell through a gap in the bridge.