A British man survived a fall from a 15th floor balcony of a building in New Zealand, according to police and local media.
Tim Stilwell, 20, had been trying to get into his 14th floor apartment from a neighbor’s home on the floor above when he fell at about 2 a.m. local time on Sunday (10 a.m. Saturday ET). He had forgotten his keys after a night out drinking with friends, The New Zealand Herald reported.
The neighbor, Geraldine Bautista, 28, told the paper that Stilwell appeared “a little bit tipsy,” but she had not taken his request to “please let me jump off from the balcony” seriously.
“I never thought he would really do that. In my mind I thought ‘Okay, I’ll just let you see that it’s really impossible. I didn’t think he’d jump, because it’s really scary,” she added.
She told the Herald that he went quickly to the balcony and climbed over. She tried to grab him but he slipped through her grasp.
“He never said anything ... I grabbed his hand and then at that time ... he fell down. I thought I was dreaming. It happened so fast. It happened within seconds. I couldn't even scream for help. He was like a paper falling from here,” she added.
Stilwell fell about 13 stories and landed on the roof of an adjacent building, the paper said.
In a statement, New Zealand Police said there were “no suspicious circumstances” about the fall.
“It appears that the man was locked out of his 14th floor apartment. He fell while attempting to climb down the outside of the building from a 15th floor apartment directly above his, in an effort to gain access via his balcony,” the police statement said.
James Aoys, duty nurse manager at Auckland City Hospital, said at 8:40 a.m. ET Monday that Stilwell was in a “critical but stable” condition in intensive care.
However he said Stilwell was “improving” and added that his survival was “just amazing.”
One of Stilwell’s roommate’s, Dave Thomas, told the Herald that his friend was “a very lucky man.”
He said Stilwell had suffered back and neck fractures, broken his wrist, and was thought to have sustained internal injuries.