Woman Killed In 17-Story Fall After Balcony Railing Gives Way

Jennifer Rosoff fell to her death when a balcony railing gave way, plunging her 17 stories below. INSIDE EDITION reports on the tragedy.

It was a first date that ended in a horrific tragedy. An attractive 35-year-old woman fell to her death from a balcony of a luxury Manhattan apartment.

Ad executive Jennifer Rosoff met her date online. Stephen Close lives in the building on East 57th Street, just a block away. They arranged to get together for their first date at a Mexican restaurant, then went back to her place. But what started out like an episode of Sex And the City soon turned to tragedy.

They stepped out on the balcony for a smoke at 12:50 am. Then, Rosoff sat on the railing. Her date told police he warned her, "It doesn't look safe." Suddenly, the railing buckled beneath her. She plunged 17 floors to her death.

Rosoff's date could only watch in horror as the railing gave way and she fell. Witnesses say the date started screaming for help and was clearly in shock as he ran into the building's lobby. But it was too late. Rosoff had died instantly.

All the balconies in the building have been sealed by authorities as "imminently perilous to life."

INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd went into a neighbor's apartment in the building and asked, "Have you always felt safe on your balcony with your railing?"

"I have. I've never felt unsafe going onto my terrace space," said building resident Ricardo Oquendo.

Incredibly, some have survived similar falls from similar heights. In 2007, Josh Hanson plunged through a Minneapolis hotel window. He fell from the 17th floor and landed on an overhang. Amazingly, his most serious injury was a broken leg. There was speculation he was able to survive because he fell flat on his back. 

Hanson spoke with Boyd via skype. Boyd asked, "I imagine that in these moments you ask yourself, 'How is it that I survived this 17 story fall?'"

Hanson said, "I'm no more special than the next person. But I survived and I'm here to tell the story. I feel awfully fortunate."

Sadly, Jennifer Rosoff was not so fortunate.