Balcony Fall Kills Spring Breaker

A 21 year old Spring Breaker from Wisconsin died early Saturday in a balcony fall at Panama City Beach.

Killed was Jacob M. Winkler of Menomonee Falls, WI.

Winkler fell from a 7th floor balcony a few minutes before 2:00 AM at the Gulf Crest condominiums in the 8700 block of Surf Drive.

Panama City Beach Police, Bay County Paramedics and Beach Fire Rescue arrived within minutes and say Winkler died at the scene almost instantly.

Police investigators say there was no sign of foul play.

The Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy and an investigation into the death


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by friend Location: fl on May 1, 2012 at 01:19 AM
    does it matter what the circumstances were? I saw this young man's family and I can assure you, they are grief stricken and yet still trying to find a way to help others. This family is an inspiration to all that know them and Jake was not just another "spring breaker". His family has helped many people and continues to help people even though they have endured an incredible loss. Prayers to Jim and his family. I think Jake would be so proud that you are using his legacy to help others.
  • by Judine Location: Duluth MN on Mar 28, 2012 at 02:45 PM
    Jake Winkler was an amazing young man from a wonderful family in Wisconsin. He had been hit by a car on Friday in Panama City Beach (he had not been drinking), was taken to the hospital and released. It's very probable that he had a concussion or other head injury which went undetected and which the autopsy may reveal as the cause of his accident. He decided to stay at the condo while his friends went out that night because he wasn't feeling well, and another friend stayed with him to make sure he was OK. When the friend had to leave for a short time, Jake went out onto the balcony, probably to look at the beautiful Gulf and somehow lost his balance, perhaps because of his head injury. He had NOT been drinking before his fall, and his death was a terrible accident. All who know and loved Jake - make that LOVE Jake - know the values he learned from his family and lived all his young life made him a very special and gentle young man who will be greatly missed. I knew Jake and I know his family. What a loss!
  • by lisa Location: panama city fl on Mar 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    im very sorry for your loss, but i just cant understand why anyone would want to get drunk or high and think they can fly or whatever the situation may be. i hope and pray that other kids will learn from this and realize the mistakes that were made. now there is another family missing a loved one and it didnt have to be that way. again my condolences to jakes family and friends and i pray for you during this time.
  • by Samone Location: Panama city beach on Mar 26, 2012 at 09:42 AM
    The hotels and condos should have better safety rails. This happens every year and I feel so bad for this kid and his family.
  • by HCAM Location: Hartland, WI on Mar 26, 2012 at 07:57 AM
    Regardless of the seasonal issues for the FL locals, respect should be given to Jake and his family. Some of these comments really show the lack of spirit and compassion. It's heartbreaking to hear this news, and it's no one's right to disparage. Take care J & L, Fam.
  • by Kim Hass Location: Ohio on Mar 26, 2012 at 07:35 AM
    How dare those who judge. The first post, you should be ashamed of yourself. You did not know this boy or his family. I did. Maybe your parents didn't teach you compassion growing up and not to say or print horrible comments. I pray this never happens to someone close to you so you never experience disgusting comments from someone like you.
  • by June Location: Wisconsin on Mar 26, 2012 at 05:36 AM
    half of these comments are disgusting. have some respect.
  • by bonnie Location: church on Mar 25, 2012 at 03:43 PM
    Jakes parents are some of the most caring and loving parents I have ever personally known. Jake was responsible, loving and just a beautiful young man. This is so sad, so senseless. The compassion of the Lord be with this family during this difficult time
  • by Family member on Mar 25, 2012 at 02:33 PM
    Dear Disgusted, I understand your frustration and annoyance from hearing this story , but I wish you would open your mind to other possbile scenarios. Yes, this type of accident is frequent during spring break, and it's an unfortunate and sad waste of life. However, as is typical, the news presenters did not share the full story. The autopsy is taking place because of other circumstances which I will not discuss here in case it leads to further investigation. An autopsy will not be a waste of time or money, and Jacob was no moron. He was an upstanding young man who comes from an amazing family.
  • by Anonymous Location: WI on Mar 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM
    I was at PCB last week and I was taken back by what I saw. Drunk kids walking on the beach, reckless behavior, a complete lack of respect for themselves and others.
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