Man Falls to Death After Trying to Handstand on Hotel Balcony

A man has died after he tried to do a handstand on a Myrtle Beach hotel balcony as Hurricane Ian lashed the South Carolina coastline.

Markell Hope, 34, fell from a balcony on the 15th floor of the Patricia Grand Hotel while he attempted the handstand at about 3:30 p.m. on September 30.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard told NBC affiliate WMBF that Hope, from Akron Ohio, died as a result of his injuries.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida on September 4 as a dangerous Category 4 storm, but was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane when it reached South Carolina on September 30.

Photo of Myrtle Beach
Crowds enjoy the beach on May 29, 2021 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is the No. 3 top destination for road trips on Memorial Day, according to AAA Carolinas. The man died while performing the stunt as Hurricane Ian lashed the South Carolina coastline.

It was the first time a hurricane made landfall in the state in nearly six years and brought high winds, heavy winds and flooding along the coastline.

According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, people in the path of a storm should evacuate the area and avoid going outdoors during a storm if they can’t get away.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department has since launched an investigation into the death, according to WBTW-TV.

Newsweek has contacted the MBPD for comment.

More than 100 people died as Hurricane Ian made landfall, according to local officials, although the majority of fatalities were reported in Florida’s Lee County.

The Weather Channel said last week that it had confirmed at least 101 deaths from the storm.

There were 94 deaths reported in Florida, four in North Carolina and another three in Cuba, according to the network.

In March, a teenager fell 400 feet from the drop tower attraction at Orlando’s ICON Park, according to Florida police.

Orange County Sheriff’s Officers found the 14-year-old had fallen from the Free Fall ride, a 430-feet tall drop tower.

The boy, later identified as Tyre Sampson, from St. Louis, was brought to a nearby hospital but he later died as a result of his injuries and police soon opened an investigation into the death.

ICON Park’s Free Fall ride was described as a world-record-setting attraction when it opened in late December 2021 and claimed to be the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower.

The ride could accommodate 30 riders at full capacity and it was not known how many were on the ride when the boy fell to his death.

John Stein, a spokesperson for the Free Fall ride, told Channel9 that the attraction would be closed indefinitely.

Stein told Channel9 reporters: “Our hearts go out to the family of this young man. Our hearts are broken today.”

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