CRISTA Shores resident falls three stories to his death
By RACHEL BRANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
June 27, 2008 · Updated 2:54 PM
Board was missing from balcony currently undergoing construction.
An 88-year-old man died early Tuesday morning after apparently falling from his third-story apartment balcony at the CRISTA Shores Retirement Community in Silverdale.
James Donald fell from his apartment balcony sometime before 4 a.m., according to Deputy Scott Wilson, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue crews responded to the retirement community, located at 1600 NE Crista Shores Lane off of Bucklin Hill Road, at about 4 a.m. Donald was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office ruled the man’s death was an accident.
KCSO detectives were called to investigate the scene Tuesday morning and spoke with the man’s wife, whom he lived with in the third-story apartment at CRISTA Shores.
The woman told detectives she and her husband went to bed at about 11 p.m. She awoke around 3:45 a.m. and discovered he was not in bed, Wilson said.
The woman went downstairs and told a security guard Donald was missing. The guard searched outside the couple’s waterfront apartment and found the man lying on a concrete patio, according to Wilson.
“It was pretty obvious that he had taken a fall from above,” Wilson said. “We don’t believe any criminal activity was involved.”
Donald’s wife told detectives her husband had Alzheimer’s disease, Wilson said.
Detectives believe the man walked out of a sliding glass door onto his balcony and fell three stories to the concrete patio, Wilson said. Donald’s balcony did not have a railing and scaffolding was set up around the area.
CRISTA Shores Retirement Community is undergoing major renovations, said Kathryn Stenger, spokeswoman for CRISTA Ministries, which owns the retirement community.
Wilson said many or all of the apartments had two boards, one at knee and one at waist level, placed across the sliding glass doors to prevent residents from walking onto their balconies. The board positioned at waist level was not in place in Donald’s room.
Wilson said detectives are “unsure why (the board) was missing.”
The sliding glass door was closed, but not locked, Wilson added.
Stenger added that CRISTA officials and the contractors working on the project have worked closely with KCSO detectives to determine what safety measures were in place during the community’s renovation.
Wilson said the Washington Department of Labor and Industries as well as the state Department of Social and Health Services may investigate the incident.