Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Record survival: 47-floor fall by New York City window washer Alcides Moreno

David Senior's 36-foot fall off the balcony of a St. Pete Beach hotel is notable because he was relatively unharmed. But he hardly fell into the annals of historic plunges in which people survived. Last year, New York City window washer Alcides Moreno survived a fall of 47 stories. His brother was killed in the fall. Moreno was traveling about 124 mph when he hit the ground, according to published reports, though his fall likely was cushioned by scaffolding that he clung to on the way down. Moreno broke 10 bones and suffered brain and spinal column injuries. He underwent 16 surgeries.

Senior was traveling about 33 mph when his 36-foot fall ended on a concrete ledge Tuesday night.

Survival is often a function of an old adage: It's not the fall that kills you, it's the landing. In short, landing on the skull is almost always fatal, according to a study of 200 falls by Fordham Misericordia Hospital. Landing in a manner that damages the pelvic area or the nearby organs can lead to death. Feet-first is almost always better. People 20 to 40 have a markedly higher survival rate than those younger than 10 or older than 51. Alcides Moreno was 37; Senior is 26.

Times staff

Record survival: 47-floor fall by New York City window washer Alcides Moreno 03/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  4. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.
  5. Fennelly: Lightning's Manon Rheaume made history 25 years ago Saturday

    Lightning Strikes

    The name is part of Lightning history, hockey history, sports history.

    Lightning goalie Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game 25 years ago today.