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‘People went rolling,’ man says after deck collapses during Ga. house party

Posted at 2:09 PM, May 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-18 15:18:03-04

LITHONIA, Ga. — Police say nine people were injured and seven were taken to the hospital after a deck collapse in DeKalb County Saturday evening.

WGCL reported that the incident happened around 11 p.m. at a home on the 1700 block of Hilton Ridge Road in Lithonia.

The deck collapsed during a party in the rear area of the home.

DeKalb County Fire Captain Eric Jackson said seven people were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

“Boom, it just fell. Out of nowhere it just fell,” said Antonio Brown.

He was one of the people on the deck when it crashed and so was Helen Brown.

“My heart dropped,” Helen Brown said.


Deck collapse (SOURCE: WGCL)

The family said they’ve only lived there a month and were gathering friends and other family members at their home after a wedding. Antonio Brown said there were nine people on the deck for 30 minutes when it collapsed. The other two said they didn’t need to see a doctor.

“It just collapsed. Boom! It fell. People went to rolling, crawling and two, three people fell completely off the deck,” Antonio Brown said.

WGCL reached out to deck experts who said there likely hasn’t been any work done on the deck in some time. The experts suggest having someone who specializes in deck maintenance and repairs to check it before any big gatherings, especially for older decks. Homeowners are encouraged to check the metal columns holding up the deck for rust and check the sturdiness of the rails — a lesson the Brown family is now learning.

“To double check everything before you move in,” said Helen Brown. “I’m just thankful I made it out alive and everybody’s alright.”

Seven of the nine went to the hospital Saturday night for minor and moderate injuries. The person who manages the property for the owner said his crews will be there Monday to examine the deck to prepare to get it fixed.