Woman's fatal fall from dorm bunk prompts calls for bed rails - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Woman's fatal fall from dorm bunk prompts calls for bed rails

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Jesse Sykes, left, with her mother Donna Sykes at the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Early College High School graduation in May 2010. (Source: Rocky Mount Telegram) Jesse Sykes, left, with her mother Donna Sykes at the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Early College High School graduation in May 2010. (Source: Rocky Mount Telegram)

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WBTV) - The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill may install railings on bunk beds in its dorms after a woman fell to her death in her daughter's room last month.

The woman, who was spending the night with her daughter in a dormitory on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, died after a fall from a bed, authorities told WRAL-TV.

The incident happened in late August when the woman was at the Kenan Residence Hall while students were moving into their dorms, WRAL reported.

The woman, Donna Sykes, 49, was from Nash County and was staying with her freshman daughter, Jesse, in her new dorm room, according to WRAL and the Rocky Mount Telegram.

Officials did not say how high the bed was, but housing director Larry Hicks says the beds in the room were not elevated before the teen moved in it. Students can set the bed up to 77 inches off the floor to create space.

Campus police found Donna Sykes after they were called to the room, authorities said. She was unconscious after a fall and blow to the head, UNC Public Safety officer Randy Young told WRAL.

A UNC spokeswoman later said that the woman's death, which happened on Aug. 20, was an accident, but did not provide any more details, WRAL reported.

Hicks says he had gotten 68 requests for bed rails before Sykes' death. Officials say they've had about 75 requests since the death.

Copyright 2010 WBTV. All rights reserved. WRAL and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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