August 31, 2015 / 3:41 PM / 3 years ago

Investigators probe baseball fan's death from fall at Atlanta game

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A 60-year-old man who plummeted to his death from the upper deck of the Atlanta Braves’ baseball stadium on Saturday died of blunt force trauma, a medical investigator said Monday, but the cause of his fall has not been determined.

Aug 30, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) and fans and coaches observe a moment of silence in memory of a fan that fell to his death during last night's game prior to the game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees at Turner Field. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory Murrey fell headfirst about 40 feet (12 meters) during a sell-out game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees.

The Georgia man’s death remains under investigation, and it could take six to eight weeks for a toxicology report to be completed, said Mark Ruffin, an investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.

Murrey was the third fan to fall to his death at the Braves stadium, Turner Field, since 2008, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. One of those deaths was later ruled a suicide, the newspaper said.

Murrey seemed to lose his balance as the crowd jumped up to boo Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez, who was walking up to bat, a witness told the Journal-Constitution. Rodriguez has been controversial since his suspension for the 2014 season as part of baseball’s doping scandal.

No foul play is suspected, but the cause of Murrey’s fall had not been determined, Atlanta police spokesman Greg Lyon said.

Murrey was a Braves season ticket holder for 23 years, his family said in a statement to the media on Sunday. “The night Greg passed away, he was doing one of his favorite things – watching the Braves,” it said.

The Braves observed a moment of silence for Murrey before Sunday afternoon’s game.

Stadium safety has become an issue for Major League Baseball, which is reviewing design concepts after several people have been hurt by foul balls and flying bats.

The league is considering adding more protective netting to its ball parks next season, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week. However, he did not speak directly about fans falling from the seating areas.

Turner Field is due to be demolished after the team leaves in 2016 for a new venue.

Editing by Letitia Stein and Dan Grebler

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