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Sunday 21 September 2014

Irish dad of nine dies in New York balcony fall

Julian Brouwer

Published 23/09/2013 | 05:00

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POLICE are investigating after an Irish emigrant died in a tragic fall in an apartment building in New York City.

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Thomas McKenzie (68), who originally hailed from Ireland but had been living in the Caribbean island of St Lucia for many years, was believed to have toppled over a third-floor railing.

Police believe he died after falling into the lobby of the Eastern Parkway apartment building in Brooklyn, New York City, at around 4am in the early hours of Saturday.

He had been in New York City visiting family at the time and had been staying with his nephew.

Heartbroken family members said the jovial father of nine had made the trip to the US to visit his ex-wife and children.

"He was just here visiting," said Mr McKenzie's brother Fredrick (58). "He was just passing through, and now he's dead."

His adult daughter, Yasmine, told New York media of her shock when she received a phone call from their family in St Lucia to tell her he had died.

Mr McKenzie's family said he had visited a local bar with a childhood friend before he died. Police believe he then made his way home and lost his balance.

Officers are now trying to piece together exactly what happened to Mr McKenzie but believe he may have been intoxicated, and no foul play is expected at this stage.

A police source said: "It looks like he toppled over a third-floor railing and fell down into the lobby of the apartment building."

Mr McKenzie apparently suffered severe head injuries in the fall and was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I'm very sad. I can't believe it," said Ryan Octave (61), who was with Mr McKenzie before he died.

A post-mortem will be carried out this week.

Irish Independent

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