Fayette County

Bryan Station graduate in critical but stable condition after fall from hotel room

Bryan Station High School and Eastern Kentucky University graduate Ciara Williams was critically injured in fall from the 10th floor of an Atlanta hotel.
Bryan Station High School and Eastern Kentucky University graduate Ciara Williams was critically injured in fall from the 10th floor of an Atlanta hotel.

Ciara Williams, the former Lexington resident who was severely injured in a fall from an Atlanta hotel window last month, continues to improve but remains in "critical but stable condition," her mother, Gloria Williams, said.

As Ciara Williams recovers, some relatives are questioning the police version of events leading up to the fall after hearing from witnesses.

Police have said Ciara Williams, 25, and a friend, LaShawna Threatt, 30, were "play fighting" when they crashed through a window on the 10th floor of the W Atlanta-Midtown Hotel in the early hours of May 28.

Threatt died after landing on the slanted glass ceiling of a sun room; Williams rolled off and fell onto a ground-level patio.

Threatt's family has filed suit against the hotel, alleging negligence.

Gloria Williams said Threatt's boyfriend, Laray Hamilton, has told her that Ciara Williams and Threatt were hugging at Threatt's 30th birthday party when they leaned against a window that gave way.

Hamilton was at the party and watched the incident unfold, she said.

Gloria Williams said her daughter remains in intensive care at Grady Hospital for Trauma in Atlanta.

"She's been taking a couple steps forward, but then she takes a couple steps back," Gloria Williams said. "It's just going to be a day-by-day thing."

Gloria Williams said she's not sure how her daughter survived the fall.

"The Lord was with her. There's no other way," she said. "It's a miracle because she's still alive today. Each day she's alive is even better. Everyday she survives is a blessing."

Ciara Williams has been kept heavily sedated and is on a ventilator, said Dallas Wright, a friend and fellow Bryan Station High School graduate.

"Her lungs are getting stronger," he said. "We're just being patient and letting the healing process take the time."

A support group for Williams has been created on Facebook titled "Ciara Williams Support" and has more than 1,200 members. Updates on her condition are posted periodically.

A fund has been set up for Williams, who did not have health insurance, at Fifth Third Bank. A fund-raiser is also being organized for her on June 24 at the Compound in Atlanta.

Williams is a model and dancer who had performed in music videos and was working at an Atlanta law firm before the accident.

Maurice Threatt, LaShawna's father, filed a lawsuit last week in Fulton County State Court, seeking damages from W Hotel Management and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Inc.

The lawsuit claims that the window in the room where both women were staying was cracked, then improperly replaced.

The lawsuit also alleges the hotel failed to notify its guests that the window was improperly replaced and could potentially break.

Threatt's family wants the hotel to admit the window was improperly installed and accept full responsibility for the accident, according to the suit.

The lawsuit says the hotel should've known about the "dangerous and hazardous conditions" of the room and acted negligently in not warning guests about it.

W Hotel Manager Michael O'Donohue issued a statement about the incident, saying the hotel isn't at fault.

"The hotel building itself is properly permitted and received its most recent 'certificate of occupancy' when it became a part of the W brand in 2008," he said in the statement. "At that time, expert consultants performed a number of comprehensive structural reviews of the building, which included the windows.

"At no time during these inspections did the W Atlanta Midtown receive any reports noting concern about the safety or security of its windows or window system structure."

Gloria Williams said she has no immediate plans to file a lawsuit.

"We've thought about it, but right now my time is focusing on my daughter's well-being," she said.

Gloria Williams said she has been traveling between Lexington and Atlanta since the accident. But she said she and her family are headed back to Atlanta on Friday and said they'll stay "as long as it takes."

"We're hoping it won't take that long," she said. "But until she's out of ICU, I'm not going anywhere."

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