Palm Springs Hotel : Fall Hospitalizes Student From Moorpark College

Times Staff Writer

A 19-year-old Simi Valley college student was in serious condition at a Palm Springs hospital Sunday recovering from head injuries suffered when she fell from a hotel balcony during spring break revelry.

A nursing supervisor at Desert Hospital said Shelli Hoyt, a student at Moorpark College, remained in the hospital’s intensive care unit after undergoing surgery. Her condition was reported as critical Saturday but had improved by Sunday.

Palm Springs police said Hoyt fell from the second-floor balcony of her room at the Dunes Hotel about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Ray Ghrabety, a desk clerk at the hotel, said a security guard told Hoyt, who had been drinking, not to sit on the balcony railing. But, he said, she did not move.


“It was a straightforward accident as far as we could tell,” a police spokesman said.

Police Melee

Two hours before the fall, police wearing riot gear had gone to the hotel to break up a fist fight among about 15 young men, authorities said. The fight spread throughout the hotel and police threatened to close it before the disruption subsided.

Ghrabety said only about 15 guests remained Sunday afternoon at the 128-room hotel. He said the hotel planned to hire several additional security guards for next weekend, when college students celebrating spring break a week later are expected to arrive.


Despite the fall and the death of a 22-year-old Santa Ana woman in a traffic accident two days earlier, police consider the weeklong celebration by college students to have been relatively quiet. The woman was killed when the truck in which she was riding flipped over, police said.

“The whole city was gridlocked last night but there were no major incidents,” Sgt. Ron Starrs said. “In fact, there hasn’t been a major incident this year.”

By Sunday, police had issued 5,736 citations, mostly for traffic violations. They had also arrested 1,640 people. Nearly 700 of those arrested were jailed on a variety of charges.