NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A teen tragically fell to his death from the second-floor balcony of Pat O’Briens late Friday night.
Local service industry workers said the teen was attending a private birthday party at the world-famous courtyard bar and music venue with balcony access overlooking the 600 block of Bourbon Street.
A 911 call was placed at 10:38 p.m., and a New Orleans EMS bike team stationed in the French Quarter during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend immediately responded and was on site within 60 seconds of the call.
“I was checking out the customers inside the store,” Gallery Desire cashier Munir Ahmad told WGNO, recounting the tragic event that unfolded right across the street. “Then I heard a bang, and the girls started screaming and I came out and saw a boy with half of his body on the road and a little bit on the sidewalk. He was motionless.
“I didn’t know what happened,” he continued. “Maybe he got shot. But then I asked, and they said he fell from the balcony.”
Matthew Myles, 19, was transported via ambulance to the UMC Trauma Center in critical condition, but later succumbed to his injuries due to blunt force trauma.
“Two or three people right at the moment were giving CPR,” said Ahmad. “They were trying their level best to the extent that they can. But this is what I saw. It was really tragic and sad, and we closed the store right after that.”
The manager of Spirits on Bourbon also located across the street from Pat O’s, shared his recollection of the incident with WGNO via Facebook Messenger.
“I have no idea how or why he fell,” messaged Gumbeaux Gregg. “I just helped keep pedestrians flowing until emergency services secured the scene and got the street back in order after fire and rescue left. Other than that I don’t have any details in regards to who, what, why or how. I can tell you they started chest compressions immediately and tried for a good 10 minutes to revive him but his injuries were too severe.”
According to statistical data provided by the City of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, Myles is the 15th person involved in balcony fall-related incidents this year. This is up from eight last year and 13 in 2019.
It is important to note that not all of these incidents resulted in fatalities, and causes range from accidental, domestic violence and suicide.
No one from Pat O’Briens, including the manager on duty at the time of the incident, was available for comment.