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Fatal fall in Atlanta stadium was accidental: police

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The fatal fall of a 29-year-old baseball fan from an upper deck of the Atlanta Braves Turner Field stadium on Monday was an accident, police said on Tuesday.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office identified the man as Ronald Homer, 29, of Conyers, a suburb of Atlanta.

"At this time there is no indication of foul play, and the fall appears accidental," Atlanta police said in a statement.

There was no one near Homer when he fell during a rain delay in a game between the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies, and the fall was not caught on security cameras, police said.

Homer fell about 65 feet from an upper level platform at the stadium to a parking lot, police said. Witnesses saw him fall and called police, who found him unconscious and not breathing.

Emergency officials tried to revive him on the scene before taking him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Braves will observe a moment of silence on Tuesday night during their second game this week against the Phillies, the team said in a statement.

"The Atlanta Braves extend our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to Mr. Homer's family and friends," the statement read. "We are saddened by this tragic incident and will continue our investigation along with the Atlanta Police Department."

The police report did not describe what caused the fall. Results are not available yet on a test to determine if Homer had been drinking, Mary Beth Hauptle, a medical examiner investigator, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Homer's mother, Connie Homer, told WXIA television station in Atlanta that her son was 6 feet, 6 inches tall and may have lost his balance peering into the parking lot on the ground.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he was leaning over looking at the cars in the players' parking lot," she said.

She told the TV station she doubted her son was intoxicated.

In 2008, 25-year-old Justin Hayes fell to his death at Turner Field during an Atlanta Braves-New York Mets game. Police said alcohol was a factor when Hayes fell about 60 feet as he was trying to slide down the handrails of a club-level stairway at the field.

(Editing by Karen Brooks, Phil Berlowitz and Mohammad Zargham)

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