A former Lexington resident was in critical condition Sunday but doing "better than anticipated" after falling from the 10th floor of a luxury Atlanta hotel.
Bryan Station High School graduate Ciara Williams, 25, fell — along with a friend who died — from a 10th floor window of the W Atlanta-Midtown about 3:15 a.m. Saturday. Police said Williams and model LaShawna Threatt were celebrating Threatt's 30th birthday and "play fighting" when they crashed through a window, according to the Atlanta police department and The Associated Press. Threatt landed on a slanted glass ceiling above a sunroom below; Williams rolled off the sunroom and fell further to the patio on the ground.
However, a Williams' family member questioned the information about what transpired. Some in attendance reported the women were leaning on the window when it gave way, said LaRhonda Hill, Williams' cousin who is from Lexington. Hotel officials declined to comment Sunday; Atlanta police could not be reached for comment.
"Everyone was pretty much on the same page — that it was an accident," Hill said. But several who saw the women said "they were leaning against the glass and the glass caved in."
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Hill was among the friends and family, some from Lexington, gathered Sunday at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where Williams continued to improve. She has multiple injuries.
"She's doing better than the doctors anticipated," Hill said. "A lot of people are feeling better and positive ... she's going to get through this."
Best friend Dallas Wright graduated from Bryan Station with Williams in 2004 and moved with her to Atlanta in 2007. He flew back to Atlanta from a trip to Florida after hearing of the accident.
"She's moving," Wright said. "She's very responsive. She's able to mouth words. She's asking questions. She's opening her eyes."
Williams, who finished her criminal justice degree at Eastern Kentucky University in 2008, graduated at the top of her Bryan Station class, Wright said. She called Williams a fighter.
Williams is a model and dancer who worked in some music videos. She was working in a law firm recently and contemplating law school, Hill said.
Having friends and family close has helped Williams, Hill said, and prayers along with messages on phones and on Facebook are helping family members.
"She's doing good," Hill said. "She's aware of everything going on."
"After she saw her mother, I think it helped her even more," Hill said. "When you tell her who all is here, she kind of nods her head like 'good.'"
Hotel officials declined to answer questions about the tragedy, but W Atlanta-Midtown manager Michael O'Donohue released an email statement Sunday that mirrored one released Saturday.
It said, "The incident at the W Atlanta early Saturday is very tragic, and our thoughts and prayers are with the woman who was injured and the family and friends of the woman who died in the fall.
"There is a police investigation under way, and all information must come from the authorities."
The Atlanta Police Department did not return calls seeking further comment.