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Woman critical after fall in garage

Mar. 24, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON — An employee of Huntington Junior College was seriously injured Friday morning when she fell from one floor to another in a downtown garage.

The incident happened shortly after 9:30 a.m. in the Central Huntington Garage, located in the 900 block of 5th Avenue next to Jim's Spaghetti.

Authorities confirmed the victim's identity as Patricia King, who is listed as the associate director of financial aid on the Huntington Junior College website.

Staff at Cabell Huntington Hospital listed her in critical condition Friday evening.

King fell approximately 6 feet from the garage's fourth floor to its third, said Huntington Fire Chief Randy Ellis. He described her as unconscious at the scene.

Garage manager Larry Keezee said the woman's car trunk was open. Indications are she was getting something from it when she fell. Her head hit the next level's concrete floor.

Keezee estimates the incident happened within five minutes of a very brief power outage, but there was no word on whether that outage contributed to her fall.

Floors in the parking garage are split-level with a mezzanine between, and to the side of each floor. The design has no barrier between where one car backs in and the mezzanine approximately 6 feet below. Keezee attributed the lack of any such barrier to the building's original design.

"It's something that they may want to definitely look at," he said.

Firefighters and paramedics used a pickup truck to transport King from the third floor to an ambulance waiting at the garage's entrance. Its restricted clearance height prevented an ambulance from driving to the scene.

Investigators from the Huntington Police Department photographed the scene later at the request of Police Chief Skip Holbrook. They do not believe any crime to have been committed, but Holbrook wanted to document the scene due to the seriousness of King's injury, said Huntington Police Lt. John Williams.

Reporter Lacie Pierson contributed to this report.



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