Man returns home after falling off balcony

A Greenwood man is returning home to Indiana after surviving a fall from an eleventh story balcony in Florida.

On Tuesday evening, Mark Hefley, 38, was leaning on the rail of a balcony at the Panama City Beach condominium where he and his wife and friends were staying. He was trying to stretch his back when he lost his footing, slipped and fell over the edge of the railing, according to the police report.

Hefley’s wife told police that she and a friend were sitting on the couch when they saw Hefley slip and his legs go up as he fell over the balcony.

When Schultz ran out to the balcony, she saw Hefley hit another balcony’s railing with his back as he was falling, according to the report. A security guard at the facility heard a scream as Hefley fell and called 911 when he saw him climbing out of the pool, according to the report.

Hefley landed on his back in the pool below, which was about 4 feet deep, according to the report. He pulled himself out of the water and was coherent and alert when emergency workers arrived, according to the report. 

Hefley told police that he and a friend had just finished laying hardwood flooring in the condo, and he needed to stretch his back. Police don’t believe alcohol was a factor.

Emergency workers took Hefley to Bay Medical Center in Panama City. On Thursday afternoon, Hefley and his wife, Jami, were on their way home to Indiana, said Heather Hefley, Mark Hefley’s sister.

“Everyone is trying to contact him,” Heather Hefley said. “He just wants to get home and see his kids. God was with him, for sure.”

Author photo
Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.