Climber injured in three-story fall

Police say alcohol involved in early morning accident

Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2001

A man who was climbing a metal storm drain on an exterior wall of the downtown Elks Lodge this morning fell 30 feet onto a concrete sidewalk, suffering severe injuries, police said.

The 52-year old man, whose name was not released, suffered a broken pelvis and a displaced hip and was in critical condition, according to Marsha Rule, information specialist for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where the man was air-lifted around 10 a.m.

"He is in the emergency room and will be evaluated," Rule said this morning. "He is still in critical condition and we do not know yet if he is conscious or not or if he sustained further injuries."

Police said they received a call about 1:10 a.m. today from a resident on the fourth floor of the Gastineau Apartments at 127 S. Franklin St. The unidentified resident told police a man was climbing up the building near her window, according to a police statement.

When officers arrived, the man was climbing on the drain, which runs along the outside of the Elks Lodge. The lodge is next to the apartment building.

Police Capt. Tom Porter said officers couldn't get to the man and called the fire department to bring a ladder. The pipe broke before firefighters arrived, dropping the man to the sidewalk.

Police said they are trying to locate the man's family. Porter said there was evidence alcohol was involved.

Gastineau Apartments General Manager Russ Bushmill said the man wasn't a resident of the apartments and he did not recognize him.

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