Spring Breaker Dead in Balcony Fall

By: NewsChannel 7 News Staff
By: NewsChannel 7 News Staff

One of the country’s top high school senior football recruits has died in a fall from a motel balcony during Spring Break.

17-year-old Matt James of Cincinnati, Ohio died Friday night after falling from the third floor balcony of the Days Inn Motel on Front Beach Road at Panama City Beach, Fl. Police said the initial indications are the teenager fell over the balcony railing of his motel room at 6:26 Friday evening and apparently died instantly.

Friends told NewsChannel Seven that James had just arrived in the beaches area for the first day of his Spring Break for 2010.

Police say they could not publicly confirm the identity of the teenager because relatives had not been formally notified. But several dozen distraught callers to NewsChannel 7 from the Cincinnati area say it was Matt James.

He attended St. Xavier High School where he was a 6’7”, 280 pound star football offensive tackle. He has been highly recruited by major college teams including the Florida Gators. He recently signed with Notre Dame. He reportedly had scholarship offers from Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Florida State, Miami and North Carolina. Also he considered Cincinnati and Ohio State before signing on with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in February

Panama City Beach police are investigating and said a full report should be available later.

It is the second Spring Break balcony fall accident fatality in less that a week. A few Days ago a 19-year-old Georgia Spring Breaker, Brandon Kohler died in a five story fall from the Holiday Terrace Motel about a mile east of tonight’s tragedy.


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