'Tipsy' Guy Survives 15th-Floor Fall

Amazingly, he's expected to be on his feet again in around a week

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2013 2:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – A man who fell while trying to climb from a 15th-floor balcony to his own balcony one floor below is somehow not only still alive, but is expected to be on his feet again in about a week. Tom Stilwell, who found himself locked out after a night out with friends in Auckland, New Zealand, plummeted 13 floors before the roof of a neighboring building broke his fall, the BBC reports. The neighbor whose balcony he fell from says the 20-year-old was "a little tipsy," and she only let him onto her balcony so that he could see the climb was impossible.

"I didn't think he'd jump, because it's really scary," she says, but "within seconds" he had swung a leg over the railing then fell. Stilwell—whose friends say he is "normally the sensible one out of all of us"—is being treated for injuries including a broken wrist. The hospital's medical director says his survival is "extraordinary," and can't be explained by the relaxing effect of alcohol. "If you're going to hit something at speed, relaxed or not is not going to make too much difference," he tells the New Zealand Herald.

The man's friends say they were just 10 minutes behind him with the keys.
The man's friends say they were just 10 minutes behind him with the keys.   (Shutterstock)
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