Local News

1 Dead in Parking Deck Collapse at Charlotte Mall

Posted December 6, 2007

— A woman died Thursday after her car crashed into the edge of a shopping mall parking deck in Charlotte and a section of the deck collapsed, authorities said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police spokeswoman Julie Hill said the woman crashed her car into the edge of the top level of the parking deck at SouthPark Mall. A small portion of the three-tier deck then collapsed, and her car fell through the opening.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, said Mecklenburg EMS Agency spokesman Eric Morrison.

"I think it's miraculous, quite honest, given what happened, that there are no other confirmed injuries," Hill said.

Charlotte Fire Department Capt. Rob Brisley said two cars under the collapse were destroyed. He said investigators were working to identify the cause of the collapse and determine whether the deck, located between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, is stable.

Lorraine Ayala, 63, of Monroe, said she emerged from the mall to find the deck collapsed just above her ground-level parking space.

"It makes you question the structure of these buildings," Ayala said.

Meanwhile, a parking garage under construction in Jacksonville, Fla., partially collapsed Thursday, injuring about two dozen people, officials said.

One person was missing, but police did not know if the worker was trapped or had escaped. Search crews with dogs were looking through the rubble.

Misty Skipper, a spokeswoman for Mayor John Peyton, said early searches had turned up nothing, but they would continue until searchers were certain that nobody was trapped.

Twelve men and one woman were transported to Shands Jacksonville, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Brockmeir said. Two were in serious condition, 10 were in good condition and one was in fair condition. Some of those in good condition have left the hospital.

Susan Barrow, a spokeswoman for Baptist Medical Center, said they had three patients, but two have been released and the other is in good condition. St. Vincent's Medical Center spokesman Erik Kaldor said it also received three injured workers; one was admitted in fair condition, another was treated and released and a third was still being evaluated.

Other workers were treated at the scene.

The collapse occurred as workers were pouring concrete on the sixth floor of the garage for a condominium complex, which is located across the street from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

"I heard a crack, and then it just crumbled," Rick Caldwell, a construction worker, told The Florida Times-Union.

Mayor John Peyton said at a news conference that the collapse occurred at shift change when workers were arriving and leaving work, so officials are checking to make sure no one else is missing.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating the collapse.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ifcdirector Dec 6, 2007

    "Or people could start using public transportation... Ha! Just kidding. That will never happen, especially at the high end malls. Which is a shame."

    That's because everyone else on there would steal your stuff.

  • houndie Dec 6, 2007

    You're not safe anywhere.

  • seankelly15 Dec 6, 2007

    dianadarling- your comments are not being pulled - you have two virtually identical posts on the previous page.

  • Amused Dec 6, 2007

    Boy I tell ya, mall shootings, mall parking decks collapsing...glad there is the option of online shopping!

  • ncwebguy Dec 6, 2007

    The sturdiest part of the South Park always seemed to be the oldest -- the parking under the main stretch of the mall itself.

    I was there a few months ago and the part between Crate and Barrel and the mall itself seemed ok. The NM/Nordstrom area seemed to be packed, so we parked elsewhere.

    It will be interesting if this company built the new Crabtree exension between Hudosn Belk and Barnes and Noble, and currently building the new part next to it.

    Driving into the deck's wall, combined with shrinkage due to lower temperatures, seems to have been enough to pull some joints with it. Parking deck builders have tried to go "cheap" for years in NC, expecting only a few cold days. But they need build to expect colder temps.

    Or people could start using public transportation... Ha! Just kidding. That will never happen, especially at the high end malls. Which is a shame.

  • FE Dec 6, 2007

    The latest information makes it appear that the victim's car first hit the side of the deck, so there was some "assistance" other than an outright collapse.

    Notwithstanding the age of this specific section, a large part of that mall has some years on it. A safe bet could be made that with the quality of the contruction work (and workers!) of current times some of the construction will start to fall apart MUCH sooner than comparable construction of the 70's and 80's.

  • dianadarling Dec 6, 2007

    my durham comments keep getting pulled but the Herald sun reported that the mayor was warned in August about the dangers in the parking deck but I guess they didn't want to lose parking revenue so they have kept it open

  • NCSUPackfan Dec 6, 2007

    clintoflannagan: It's not just CLT, I remember when the new deck collapsed at Crabtree Mall years ago. Fortunately it happened at like 3 am because it was the Holiday Season then too.

  • swisher1 Dec 6, 2007

    There are no guarantees for anything NOT breaking. It seems these stories are so much more tragic this time of year. And it seems we are inundated with sadness and tragedy during this season............very sad.

  • Adelinthe Dec 6, 2007

    "It makes you question the structure of these buildings," Ayala said."


    Praying for the loved ones of the deceased.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB