Local News

Painter Survives Fall From Raleigh Water Tower

Posted December 21, 2004 8:02 a.m. EST

— Doctors are calling a teenager who fell 90 feet from a Raleigh water tower on Saturday a medical marvel.

Josh Brinkman, 19, fell 90 feet and lived to talk about it.

Brinkman, a contract painter, was hired to come to town just to paint the water tower near Brier Creek in north Raleigh.

He said he was strapped into a harness suspended by a pulley system.

"Once I let myself down somewhat, I went to hook it back up and the rope just slipped out of my hand because of all the paint and I dropped," he said.

Brinkman, still strapped in his wooden seat, landed on a steel bar.

"I was positive I was dead," he said. "About the time I hit the ground I managed to run the thought through my head that I was at least going to be paralyzed."

Although he was paint-stained and bandaged, Brinkman did not break a single bone. He was released from a hospital the same day.

"[The doctors] were amazed. They told me I was a medical marvel," he said.

"Me and a friend of mine -- it was more or less of a joke -- but we always said to each other, the one rule that we had between each other was we don't die. And it came in handy today," Brinkman said.