GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The owners of The B.O.B. issued a statement on Facebook about the most recent death of a man who fell four floors over a stair railing early Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, a witness has also come forward, explaining to FOX 17 what happened during the hours before Kevin O’Brien, 36, fell off the staircase at the popular nightclub.
The witness wanted to remain anonymous, but told FOX 17 he was part of a group that included O’Brien that had taken a private party bus from bar to bar.
He said he first ran into O’Brien at Monte’s bar on Bridge Street at around 11:30 pm and joined the group.
The witness said they then traveled to the Grand Woods bar at around midnight where the group continued to drink, including O’Brien.
He goes on to say that between 1:00 am and 1:15 am the bus arrived at The B.O.B. and the group continued drinking.
The witness believes at some point, O’Brien may have separated from the larger portion of the group after running into an ex-girlfriend.
He said he apparently expressed to someone he had a desire to leave and may have struck off on his own at some point into the stairwell.
Just before 2:00 am he fell.
O’Brien was just the latest victim of a fall in that back staircase area. He’s the third to fall in just four years.
Wednesday new locks were being installed on the doors leading to the staircase and the doors were roped off.
Meanwhile, The Gilmore family, owners of The B.O.B., issued a statement talking about the incidents in which people had fallen.
This is their statement below:
On behalf of the staff of The B.O.B and The Gilmore Collection, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of the friends and family members of Kevin O’Brien and Zachary Bunting.
When we founded The B.O.B In 1995 we wanted to create something unique and fun and bring the community together in an urban setting. As we look back over the past 17 years, we have had the opportunity to create jobs for over 220 great staff who have actually had the chance to become friends with many of our patrons.
Throughout this time we have had the opportunity to serve over 8 million guests. We have also been honored to give back to this great community of ours through countless donations, fundraisers and events like Soup’s On and Laughfest. The goal of the B.O.B. becoming a destination in our city and helping attract people to our downtown, has been achieved.
Never in a million years could we ever conceive of the horrible tragedies that have occurred. Unfortunately, what we have learned through the investigations is that two of the tragedies were the result of people making poor personal decisions. The most recent tragedy is still under investigation by Grand Rapids Police.
We are grateful to the first-responders and the Grand Rapids Police Department for the thorough, professional work they have done under sad circumstances.
Grand Rapids Police have told us that their investigations have shown:
In 2009 a young man was racing his brother down the stairwell and fell when he jumped across trying to beat his brother.
In April of 2013 Zachary Bunting decided to “ride” the rail and he went over the edge in the process.
Authorities are still investigating what led to Kevin O’Brien’s death.
The B.O.B continues to meet all building requirements and codes of our city. We have recently begun to explore some possible layout changes, and will continue to do so. Whatever adjustments may come of this, we know not all accidents or personal decisions that lead to tragedy can be prevented.
The safety and security of our guests and employees has been and will remain our top priority. We love all of our patrons and our city very much. We see these situations as a tremendous loss for the families, friends and the community as a whole.
Please join us in extending our deepest sympathies to their family and friends.
The Gilmore Family