Locals injured in balcony collapse

Published 4:16 pm Friday, December 14, 2012

Two Butler County natives were injured when a second-story balcony at a Montgomery apartment complex collapsed on Dec. 7.

Joe Smith, a recent graduate of Alabama State University, and Carrie Perdue, an employee at ASU, were attending a graduation party at Arbor Station Apartment Homes when the second-floor balcony collapsed, sending Smith, Perdue and six others to the ground.

According to information released by the university, the group sustained severe injuries from the 12-foot fall.

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Smith was transported to UAB for treatment of his injuries. He has undergone surgery and is listed in stable condition.

Perdue’s injuries also required hospitalization, as well as treatment at a local rehabilitation center.

“The University has responded in a number of ways to the plight of these members of the Hornet Nation,” said Interim President William H. Harris. “On the night of the incident, Dr. Leon Wilson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and three faculty members of that college, met the family at the hospital and stayed with them throughout the evening. Since then, the Office of Development and the National Alumni Association have coordinated University efforts to support the families of the victims in whatever way possible.”

Zillah Fluker, associate vice president for Development, said a fund has been established for the families through Hornets Unifying through Giving (HUG), ASU’s ongoing emergency support fund for such events.

“We want to provide whatever support that we can to the families as they try to recover from this tragic incident,” said Fluker. “Because of initial donations, we have been able to help with hotel expenses for out-of-town family members, as well as coordinate with Gourmet Services Inc., to provide meals for the mother of Joe Smith for the duration of her stay with her son at UAB.”

Fluker said the University will continue to provide support to the families as needs are identified.