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Man falls from top of Myrtle Beach resort after going to take pictures, coroner says

Before his fatal fall from a Myrtle Beach resort, a 22-year-old man told his mother he was going to take pictures while she went to take a nap Saturday afternoon, according to the Horry County Coroner.

Jacob Matthews fell from one of the top floors at the Ocean Reef Resort just after he checked in with his mother, according to police and the coroner. The coroner’s office said the death was an accident.

“The big question is how he went over,” Coroner Robert Edge said in a phone interview. “You have to be extremely tall, or leaning over, or standing on a chair” to go over a balcony railing.

The coroner said Matthews was staying on the 15th floor of the resort, but could not say exactly which floor he fell from.

Matthews was visiting Myrtle Beach from Sumter, South Carolina, the coroner said.

Myrtle Beach police responded to the beach access parking lot at 72nd Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard at about 6 p.m. Saturday.

They had a small area off the side of the hotel roped off with police tape for several hours Saturday evening while they investigated and a slip-on sandal lay on the sidewalk as bystanders looked on.

Unfortunately, the coroner said, he sees these kinds of falling deaths regularly in the Myrtle Beach area.

“Sometimes people do things without thinking about the ramifications,” Edge said. “If you’re standing on a chair and leaning over a rail, stop and think about it.

“It’s a safety issue,” he said.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.
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