When 35-year-old Jennifer Rosoff of Manhattan went out on her balcony with her date, it never occurred to her that it might be her last cigarette. Stunningly, horrifyingly, the beautiful ad executive fell to her death thanks to what appears to have been an unstable balcony fence. She fell the full 17 floors and was dead on impact.
It was her first date with the man who called 9-1-1 in a panic, screaming, "My friend fell! She fell off the building!" Witnesses described him as hysterical and he has been cleared of any foul play. It sounds like it was just a dreadful, shocking accident. How can that even be?
It was just before 1 a.m. after a first date that had apparently gone well enough for her to invite him up. As they talked, she apparently sat up on top of the rail, something it seems she has done many times in the past. He got nervous. He asked her to be more careful. Just as she told him it wasn't a problem, she fell, tumbling 140 feet to the ground below.
Her stunned date was left to call 9-1-1 and run screaming from the building. It's hard to even imagine.
Authorities believe the railing was defective and all residents of the building have been ordered to cease using their balconies. But none of that will bring back Rosoff. It was a shocking and tragic ending to what sounds like a pleasant summer evening. And her date, my God. What happens to him now?
The trauma of seeing something like that, of racing downstairs only to discover there is nothing you can do, of having to call and report something like this. How the hell do you ever recover from this?
It's obviously a real danger for people who live in high rise buildings. It's still a fluke statistically, but it can happen to anyone. Clearly. We just never know when it might be our time. We never really know when a perfect evening with someone with real potential could be the end.
My heart goes out to Rosoff and her family. It's heartbreaking.
Have you ever heard of something like this happening?
Image via Sarah_Ackerman/Flickr