Athens Police are investigating the death of a local man who died after apparently falling from the top of the city parking garage Friday afternoon.
Monday morning, the Athens Police released an update identifying the man as Evan D. Key, 36, of Athens. That information had been withheld over the weekend pending notification of family. The updated release said, "The investigation is ongoing. Nothing suggests foul play at this time."
An initial release Friday said that Athens Police officers and Athens County EMS personnel at 4:52 p.m. Friday “responded to a report of an unconscious, unresponsive male on College Street near the parking garage.” Upon arrival, officers found the man on the sidewalk near the entrance to the parking structure, the release said.
According to the release, “First responders were unable to render assistance due to the extent and nature of the subject’s injuries. Initial indications are that he fell from the top of the parking garage.”
The Athens County Coroner responded and Key was pronounced dead at the scene. Members of the APD Criminal Investigations Unit are conducting an investigation, according to the release.
Key was a bartender and server at the Corner on Union on West Union Street in Athens, and he also worked at Bella Vino on Stimson Avenue, Ric Wasserman, owner of both businesses, confirmed Tuesday.
“We are shocked and saddened beyond words by the loss of our co-worker Evan Key, who passed away Friday afternoon,” Wasserman said. “He was engaging and smart and had the potential to do great things. We mourn the loss of his life, and our hopes for peace go to his family and friends.”
According to his obituary, Key was a 2001 Athens High School graduate; he studied art, film and photography at Ohio University; and he completed the National Ranger Training Institute at Hocking College.
“Exercise was important to Evan,” the obituary reads. “He made sure he wore perfectly color-coordinated outfits for his frequent workouts at the Ping Center. Music was very important to Evan, and hard to find him without headphones listening to some of his favorites. As a film buff, comedies were on the top of his list.”
The family in the obituary asked for donations in Key’s name to be made to NAMI, Athens Chapter, 100 Hospital Drive, Athens, OH 45701.
Key’s father, Wayne Key, was service-safety director for the city of Athens under then Mayor Ric Abel. He passed away in August 2006 while still in that position.
IN SEPTEMBER 2002, an Ohio University student suffered serious injuries after falling from the parking garage in Athens. He also was found on the South College Street side of the structure, though apparently not in an area where he could be easily seen.
Athens Police later learned that the student, who lived in an apartment on Stewart Street, had told his roommate around 10 the night before he was found that he was going out to rappel off the parking garage. The student was a novice at rappelling, and police say the rope he used was flimsy. The student, a second-year student, was seriously injured, and apparently had been there for some time. He was transported to a hospital in Columbus for treatment.