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After death, UNC considers bed rails

Associated Press / September 11, 2010

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill may install railings on bunk beds in its dorms after a woman fell to her death in her daughter’s room last month.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported 49-year-old Donna Sykes of Rocky Mount suffered a fatal head injury when she fell Aug. 20. Officials say Sykes was visiting her 19-year-old daughter, Jesse, who had the room to herself.

Officials did not say how high the bed was, but housing director Larry Hicks says the beds in the room were not elevated before the teen moved in it. Students can set the bed up to 77 inches off the floor to create space.

Hicks says he had gotten 68 requests for bed rails before Sykes’s death. Officials say they have had about 75 requests since the death.

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