Sunday, May 05, 2002

UK reviewing window safety after deaths




The Associated Press

img
Boarded window in a UK dorm where two people fell to the deaths Thursday.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        LEXINGTON — The deaths of a University of Kentucky student and the brother of another student have prompted the school to review enforcement of its alcohol ban as well as the safety of older windows.

        University officials and the Fayette County coroner are investigating the deaths of Jeffrey Pfetzer, 19, and Matt Rzepka, 22. The men died early Thursday when they crashed through a window in a third-floor lounge at Kirwan Tower dormitory.

        The men were playfully wrestling in the lounge, then tumbled toward the window, officials said. Alcohol was found in the lounge, officials said, but a toxicology report on the men's blood, to determine whether they were drinking, is not expected for weeks.

PFETZER SERVICE
Jeff Pfetzer, 19, of Villa Hills, graduated from Covington Catholic High School last year. He was prom king and a soccer player. The school held a memorial service Thursday. (STORY)
        Officials said no safety changes are planned until more answers are found about what happened Thursday.

        Until the investigation ends, UK won't know whether it needs to adjust its no-alcohol policy or replace the older quarter-inch plate glass in many campus windows with stronger, but costlier, tempered glass, UK spokeswoman Mary Margaret Colliver said.

        The lounge window was plate, or “annealed,” glass, installed as Kirwan Tower was built in 1966. UK since has installed sturdier glass as broken windows needed replacement.

        “We believe our windows are safe,” Ms. Colliver said. “They meet all the building codes when the buildings are constructed.”

        Tempered glass is five to six times stronger than annealed glass in terms of absorbing impact, but tempered costs twice as much, according to Lexington commercial glass companies.

        However, tempered glass is a popular choice for safety's sake, said Tony O'Nan, owner of O'Nan Glass. The windows in most tall office buildings are tempered glass, Mr. O'Nan said.

        been tempered, those guys probably would have bounced right off it rather than go through it,” Mr. O'Nan said.

        Owners of some older buildings are reluctant to pay for the replacement of all annealed win dows, so they install horizontal safety bars across the windows to prevent people from going through them, he added.

        The UK lounge window did not have a safety bar.

        UK needs more information about the role alcohol played in the accident — if any — before the school revisits enforcement of its no-alcohol policy, Dean of Students Victor Hazard said. “But I'm sure our policies will be reviewed,” Mr. Hazard said.

       



Clinton offers to help city
Clifton parties turn into 'miniriot'
Issues, candidates on Tuesday's ballot
Auto thefts in city rising at faster pace
Banker's fall dismays admirers
BRONSON: When cops are handcuffed, crime takes city hostage
PULFER: Getting on the same page
SMITH AMOS: Thousands of black voices almost muted
Who will oversee police reforms?
Key dates, provisions in settlement with Cincinnati police
Boycott group won't pare down demands
Marathon honors a city built on piggybacks
Billy Graham missionaries prepare to share their joy
Challenged athletes embrace challenge
p7 Cincinnati Web site now in Spanish
Great role model for Princeton schools
Local Digest
Obituary: David Gosling, architect, urban planner
Good News: Single mom gets dream: home
Congrats
Five people hurt in two-car crash
Retail development blooms in suburb
Warren congressional districts shuffled
Crash spurs speedup of light hookup
Education reform input sought
'Ky. Cavalcade of Homes' encores
- UK reviewing window safety after deaths
Web site buffer for divorcing
Canton mulls $5 license-tag tax to cut deficit
Kentucky Digest
Receding waters leave devastation, little hope
48 revelers arrested at University of Akron