Deck collapse sends 7 to hospital

Seven injured in deck collapse

ATLANTA — Several people were injured Sunday when a deck collapsed as people were taking part in a Memorial Day weekend party.

Witnesses said nearly a dozen people were eating and playing cards when the deck folded.

"I just looked and I knew that all hell had broke loose," said renter Dehavilland Baugh.

Baugh told Channel 2's Carl Willis that she planned every detail of the get together at the home on Kennolia Dr in Southwest Atlanta, but then something gave out.

"I heard the thump and I heard the scream," she said. "I heard people underneath there saying 'help, help.'"

A few of those on the deck managed to escape serious injury, including Baugh's granddaughter Katorya Coley.

"It was unbelievable," she said. "I didn't understand what was going on."

Coley said about seven people had to be taken to the hospital with leg injuries, and injuries they suffered from people falling on them.

Coley managed to escape with only a scrape.

"All we saw was just everybody was going down," she said. "I was on the far end, so I wasn't injured. I just kind of slid down. Everybody else who was closer to the impact just fell directly down."

Baugh said she's been renting this home for seven years and said the deck has been here at least that long.

She said she relieved that no one lost their life.

"It's a blessing," she said. "I give that to the man upstairs."

According to the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors, a wood deck will typically last 10 to 15 years.

Owners should check posts and beams for rot and examine all fasteners, bolts and joist hangers for rust and corrosion.

The group estimates thousands of decks in Metro Atlanta may be unsafe.