Henry Michael Meacock, a 19-year-old New Jersey resident, died when he fell from a third-floor balcony at a hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, during the Spring Break holiday.
Meacock died at the Melia Hotel in that city on March 15 while trying to help a friend retrieve an ID or phone she had dropped, the New York Post reported today.
According to his obituary, the young man was born in England. Still, as an infant, his family moved to Westfield (NJ), and he had just started college at Ohio State University. He was also a golf and soccer player.
In a fatal coincidence, he was the second person to fall from the 3rd floor of the same hotel this month, reported Noticias Puerto Vallarta. The other victim, a 23-year-old man, survived the accident he suffered on March 6.
Jalisco prosecutors said they are still conducting interviews and investigating the case, but an unidentified spokesman said the fall is believed to be an accident. “We are closely following the investigation by local authorities into the cause of death,” commented a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department. “We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
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Several social media posts from Westfield residents commented that Meacock fell off a plexiglass platform that gave way under her weight as she tried to retrieve an ID for another hotel guest who had dropped it.
“At the hotel, a girl in a room above his dropped his ID and landed on plexiglass between the balconies,” one person wrote on Facebook. “He tried to retrieve it for her, stepped on the plexiglass, and it gave way, and she fell.” Others said Meacock was trying to retrieve a phone, not an ID.
The freshman finance major was hailed in his obituary as “a gentleman to the core” and “the most genuine soul.”
For various circumstances this year, several reported deaths and kidnappings of U.S. tourists in Mexico had been reported. Last week the State Department issued a travel alert to Mexico, noting that there were risks even in popular vacation spots.