Survivor of deadly 2015 Berkeley balcony collapse dead at 27 after stroke

0

Aoife Beary, who was severely injured in the tragic 2015 Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six people, died in Ireland at the age of 27 on New Year’s Day after suffering a stroke.

The Dublin native was one of six other students who were left with life-changing injuries after a fourth floor balcony gave way at Beary’s 21st birthday celebration in June 2015. Five of those killed were Irish nationals and the other Irish-American, all 21 years old.

Beary suffered brain trauma, broken bones, organ lacerations  and underwent open heart surgery as a result of her fall, according to The Irish Times. She underwent months of treatment in California and Ireland in the following months and said she had lost much of her independence from her injuries.

She suffered a stroke on Wednesday and reportedly died “peacefully” at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin Saturday, according to her death notice.

Aoife Beary, 27, died in Ireland at the age of 27 on New Year’s Day after suffering a stroke.
AP Photo/Darcy Costello

Beary was at the University College of Dublin at the time of the collapse pursuing a degree in pharmacology. UCD’s Dean of Science, Professor Joe Carthy remembered Beary as a brave student on Sunday.

“Aoife dealt with the devastating impact of her accident with great bravery and fortitude. She was awarded a BSc in Pharmacology in 2016. She will be greatly missed by her family and wide circle of friends,” he wrote in a statement. “I know Aoife’s passing will rekindle memories of the six students who died in the Berkeley accident in June 2015 and our thoughts are with their families too.”

In this June 16, 2015 file photo, workers remove part of a balcony that collapsed at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, Calif.
Beary was seriously injured in 2015 when a fourth-floor apartment building balcony collapsed in Berkeley, Calif.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File
Police remain at the scene of a balcony collapse at an apartment building near UC Berkeley on June 16, 2015.
Six people died in the 2015 collapse, and six others were seriously injured, including Beary.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Police tape surrounds the ground where collapse debris had fallen to the street.
Beary and friends were celebrating her 21st birthday when the collapse occurred. “Now my birthday will always be their anniversary,” she later said.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The collapse was determined to be the result of rotted wooden beams at the Library Garden complex that were not caulked and sealed properly when they were constructed, and subsequently damaged by moisture as a result. The building was less than a decade old, built in 2007.

A section of collapsed balcony remains on the front of an apartment building new UC Berkeley on June 16, 2015.
The collapse was determined to be the result of rotted wooden beams that were not caulked and sealed properly when they were constructed.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The balcony was constructed by Segue Construction, which had a history of lawsuits involving allegations of dry rot and substandard balconies at condo and apartment projects in the Bay Area.

In the years after the collapse, Beary lobbied in California to force building contractors to release safety records, site crimes and settlements to state building regulators, even testifying before state congress in 2016, according to The Irish Times.

In her testimony, she said she had been longtime friends with those who had died in the accident and had travelled extensively across the globe with them together.

“Now my birthday will always be their anniversary,” she told legislators.

Beary is survived by her parents Mike and Angela, her younger brother Tim, her younger sister Anna, and other relatives.

View original post