By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -
An awning collapsed on a man Thursday evening, injuring him.
"There was no warning at all," Rod Stuckey said. "I'm still foggy. It hit me like a baseball bat."
Stuckey had let his dog out and was standing on a deck at Perry Lane, just off of 95th Street near Switzer Road, waiting for the dog to return. Suddenly, the awning gave way about 8 p.m.
An estimated 2 tons of snow and ice came crashing down atop him.
The man managed to free himself, but was taken to a hospital for treatment. He suffered a concussion and bruising all over his body. He was released from the hospital and was back home on Friday.
A wrought-iron chair saved his life by taking the brunt of the load.
"Two tons fell on me last night," Stuckey told KCTV5's Jeanene Kiesling on Friday. "Luckily, it pushed me out of the way and landed on some steel patio furniture that held up one end (of the awning) just so slightly."
Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes said the chair prevented disaster.
"That kept the man from being pinned," Rhodes said.
The injured man's neighbor heard the crash and called for help.
Authorities tell KCTV5 that this is the third awning collapse at Gramercy Park. About 30 awnings are at the complex, which houses privately owned condos. A housing organization manages the complex.
Overland Park code administrator Tim Ryan said the owner of the residential property should have notified the city after the first crash and failed to do so. Authorities are now working with management and structural engineers to prevent more problems.
Stuckey is frustrated that residents weren't warned.
"I didn't think it would go that fast or I wouldn't have gone out there," Stuckey said. "My friend said, 'I work at a funeral home.' And he said, 'Thank God, you aren't here instead of at your house. You could have been killed.'"
Firefighters are urging residents to be careful because so many structures have accumulated so much snow.
Firefighters say you should be aware of your surroundings.
"I just thank God that I am still alive," Stuckey said.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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